James Mason, Rhythm Of Life  
James Mason
Rhythm Of Life
TIP  
USA 1xLP 
Label: 8th Records
Reissue
Release Year: 1977
Style: Jazz & Blues
 
  Tracks  
  A1 Sweet Power Your Embrace
A2 Good Thing
A3 Free
A4 Mbewe
A5 Funny Girl
B1 Slick City
B2 Rhythm Of Life
B3 Hey Hey Hey
B4 I've Got My Eyes On You
B5 Dreams
 
  Guitarist/keyboardist James Mason is
generally best remembered as a key
member of Roy Ayers' late-70s jazz-funk
group, during which he made prominent
appearances on the Ayers' LP Lifeline,
particularly the club hit "Running Away." His
only solo record , titled Rhythm Of Life, was
recorded with session legends such as
Narada Michael Walden, Gene Torres, and
Clarice Taylor, and released in 1977. The
album was not a success, and suffered from
poor timing as tastes had shifted away from
jazz music. The record seemed destined for
obscurity, as its meager printing quickly ran
out, and Mason never released a follow-up.
Over time however, Rhythm Of Life has
taken on a new life of its own, as an
unheralded jazz classic. The album's rich,
textured sound, robust, funky arrangements,
and Mason's solid guitar and keys work was
integral to the development of the acid jazz
movement of the 1990s. Tracks like "Slick
City" and "Sweet Power Your Embrace"
would go on to become rare-groove
standards in their own rite, while "Free" has
become a sampling favorite of hip-hop
innovator Madlib.
 
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