With The New Imperial, an entirely instrumental offering, Julien not only flaunts his blistering guitar chops but also crafts memorable melodies and grooves. On occasions there are elements reminiscent of "Blow by Blow" era Jeff Beck and "Band of Gypsies" Hendrix, interwoven with Julien's individual jazz leanings. Bucking trends of digital editing and excessive production, THE NEW IMPERIAL was recorded live in studio to analog tape.
Blues and jazz fans in the US and Europe became aware of Julien through his work with virtuoso pianist and Hammond B3 organist Bruce Katz. He recorded two CDs with the Bruce Katz Band on Audioquest: "Mississippi Moan" and "Three Feet Off the Ground", and toured extensively throughout the US and Europe. Julien has also recorded with Mighty Sam McClain: "Journey" and "Soul Survivor" on Telarc. Julien released his debut recording, "Flipping Time", in 2003 to critical praise.
Julien was born in France to American parents and spent his youth as an army child moving around the American south. Inspired by Bob Dylan and the Beatles, he took up the guitar at the age of eight and was largely self-taught until his first jazz lessons at age 18. In his professional life he has lived in Texas and Florida.
He is now based in Boston, Massachusetts, a city to which he was initially lured by a teaching position in the Guitar department at Berklee College of Music. His classes at Berklee consist of curriculum he has developed on creative applications of melodic and harmonic materials, advanced blues/rock/jazz guitar techniques, and his perennially popular Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck performance labs. He is a recognized authority on the playing of these two masters.
The European release of The New Imperial coincides with a performance and clinic by the Julien Kasper Band at the International Guitar Festival in London on May 1st and 2nd, 2006. The band, which features first-call Boston musicians Zac Casher on drums and Blendi Dhami on bass, will continue with tours in the US and Europe in support of the release.
"His talent for melody is phenomenal, and his band tighter than most working groups today. . . Kasper gives us a sound we can't help but listen to." —jazzreview.com
All tracks by Julien Kasper except 4 and 11 Kasper/Casher.