Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Chris Jasper - Everything I Do - 2010 - Gold City

A new Chris Jasper album is always something to wave the flags about. This man has been a staple part of my musical growth, and mainstay popular music for almost 40 years and anything from this living Legend is going to be music to my ears. Recent years have seen some high quality releases aimed at the Christian market, and I - being as far removed from any form of organised religion as you could conceivably imagine - have loved them. This set, on the whole, returns to familiar territory and I for one celebrate this. This 10 tracker contains 6 new songs, and 4 inclusions from previous solo sets. Those I shall cover later. The new songs are uptempo, funky numbers and totally in keeping with what we have come to love and expect from Chris Jasper. The clapping beat that we have come to love does become a tiny bit repetitive on this set and a few mellower cuts along the line of "In My Dream", "Like I Do" or "Insatiable Woman" would be a real addition but hey - this set still packs more than a punch!

The title track is totally addictive, splendid and launches the album into the right musical zone with immediate effect...very akin to the best tracks from his "Deep Inside Set", so if tracks such as "Let Me" are your cup of tea, then this will also be poured from the very same teapot!!! I can guarantee that you will have the melody inside your noggin within a few plays, and you'll be wandering around merrily singing this tune. Such a happy, positive and upbeat love song - and from Chris Jasper things can't get much better. A funky mid 1970s Isley Brothers feel totally overpowers the set next, and the flavour is mighty strong, mature and totally addictive. "Doing My Thing" could easily be an addition on "Go For Your Guns" or "The Heat Is On", and with today's propensity to create old sounding new material this completely and utterly fits into today's musical culture! "In Your Face" takes this up another notch, but has more of a late 1980s Chuckii Booker feel...I could easily imagine having bought this alongside then-released tracks such as Lynch's "Magic Spell", Chuckii Booker's "Turned Away", The Bar-Kays "Are U Available", and Kool & The Gang's "Raindrops". Superb!

"He's The Judge" is another superb effort that remains true to the Chris jasper / classic 70s / early 80s Isley Brothers tradition and shows again who really was the musical powerhouse behind those monumental tracks all those years ago. The most radio-friendly inclusion is the poppy "Nobody But My Baby" - a song that should and could have been a hit years ago. Not my favourite song, but I totally feel it and appreciate it nonetheless. The cuts here that we are already familiar with are welcome inclusions - and all good, too. From his 1988 album "Superbad" we have the title track, "One Time Love" and "Earthquake" - sitting pretty with the brand new recordings, and from 2007 we have the killer non-secular effort "Stand Up" with THAT killer bassline and funky guitar...still an irresistible track whether you're religious or not. I for one LOVe the song. 2010 is shaping up to be a mighty fine release year and Chris Jasper is diving in and making it happen. Watch out for new material from Chris' son Michael Jasper...coming soon!

Barry Towler

The Vibe Scribe