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Track Listing
Side One:
1. Sweet Power of Your Embrace
2. Good Thing
3. Free
4. Mbewe
5. Funny Girl

Side Two:
1. Slick City
2. Rhythm of Life
3. Hey Hey Hey
4. I've Got My Eyes on You
5. Dreams
James Mason
Rhythm Of Life (LP)
Chiaroscuro Records
Cat No:
Price £18.50
A classic 1977 rare groove / jazz-funk album, out of print for over 20 years but widely sampled, now officially reissued by Chiaroscuro on LP and CD. James Mason's 'Rhythm of Life' is deserving of the 'classic' album tag it's small but fanatical cult following has awarded it. Smoothly soulful and spiritually uplifting throughout, the album's blend of funky fusion and progressive R&B is definitely reminiscent of Mason's former employer, Roy Ayers and the album features Philip Woo (keyboards) and Justo Almario (Saxophone) from Ayers' Ubiquity; fans will immediately understand why this is considered a masterpiece in rare groove circles.
Mason played all the guitars and synths(two different ARPs and Fender Rhodes), and was largely responsible for the instrumental arrangement of every track. Clarice Taylor's vocals are far more soulful than the jazz-funk norm; what's more, the songs, all but one co-written by Ninoska Escobar aren't just perfunctory groove vehicles, but are far more structured than is typical for the genre, at times they take on a transcendent, almost spiritual quality. At least four tracks, "Sweet Power Your Embrace," "Free," "Funny Girl," and "Slick City" have become rare-groove club standards. The title cut is an absolute monster.
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