Isley Jasper Isley – Broadway’s Closer To Sunset Blvd (CD)

Most individuals are familiar with the long-time work of the Isley Brothers, but few individuals know that there was a splinter group created in the early eighties that tied together Ernie and Marvin Isley with Chris Jasper. What resulted is “Broadway’s Closer To Sunset Blvd”, an album that has gathered dust in the collective memory of R&B listeners for the last twenty-five years. This is the first of three albums that they released, and it spawned a single hit – “Look The Other Way”.

Iconoclassic has done a tremendous job in re-packaging and refreshing the album to its original luster, without removing any of the soul that made it such an attractive purchase all those years ago.

The disc starts off with “Sex Drive”, which sets the stage for the rest of “Broadway”. This is done by each constituent member crafting their own part, ultimately coming forth in a way that is significantly different than anything then heard out of the Isley Brothers lineup. “Serve You Right” is a track that keeps things fresh, as it showcases the instrumental versatility of Chris’s keyboards and Marvin’s bass. Where there is a cohesion enjoyed between the different tracks on “Broadway’s Closer To Sunset Blvd”, I really feel as if each member was able to experiment in a way that simply was not possible in the Isley Brothers (or even in R&B generally) at the time.
The disc continues to gain steam as each track spins to a close; “I Can’t Get Over You” is the most immediately catchy, but there is a nod toward increasingly more intricate and impressive compositions during both the title track and the disc’s ultimate track, “Kiss and Tell”. Iconoclassic Records have done R&B a favor with the re-release of this title, and I sincerely hope that 2010 showcases the ability of the label to provide a little insight into previously-forgotten records.

Top Tracks: Sex Drive, I Can’t Get Over You

Rating: 8.4/10

Isley Jasper Isley – Broadway’s Closer To Sunset Blvd / 2009 Iconoclassic / 9 Tracks / http://www.iconoclassicrecords.com

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