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Thursday, January 21, 2010


I got this off since I was researching this l.p. for my Ebay auction.

What can I say other then it's all that!

Jazz-funk fans, believe the hype: James Mason's Rhythm of Life is every bit the overlooked classic its small but fanatical cult following has built it up to be. Smoothly soulful (but not slick) and spiritually uplifting throughout, the album's blend of funky fusion and progressive R&B is hardly the stuff purist dreams are made of, but anyone who loves the deep grooves of Donald Byrd or Mason's former employer, Roy Ayers, will immediately understand why this is considered a masterpiece in acid jazz circles. Breezy ballads and ferocious up-tempo groovers alike benefit from Mason's sure sense of songcraft and his knack for full-bodied arrangements. Mason plays all the guitars and loads of vintage synths (two different ARPs and Fender Rhodes electric piano among them), so he's largely responsible for the instrumental meat of every track. And though he's a strong soloist when he chooses, his focus is more on creating luxurious textures and working the grooves. And work them he does -- the faster tracks are amazingly driving for the jazz-funk genre, taken at tempos that would be fast even for R&B or rock, with lots of frantically slapped bass from Gene Torres. Clarice Taylor's vocals are far more soulful than the charmingly amateurish jazz-funk norm; what's more, the songs -- all but one co-written by Ninoska Escobar -- aren't just perfunctory groove vehicles, but feel more substantially structured than is typical for the genre. At least four -- "Sweet Power Your Embrace," "Free," "Funny Girl," and "Slick City" -- have become rare-groove club standards, and the title cut is an absolute monster. Records like Rhythm of Life -- catchy, funky, richly textured, and utterly joyous -- are a huge reason the acid jazz movement came into being; since their virtues aren't as prized by hardcore jazzers, they might otherwise be consigned to oblivion. Thankfully, this one was rescued. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide

Sweet Power your Embrace and Free were released as a double a Side single in 1977. While Sweet Power Your Embrace and Funny Girl received a limited 12" release in 1977 too.

They also pulled out I Want Your Love in 1996 but I haven't heard it so I don't know what they did to it.

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Eldon Tyrell said...

Thx man!

the saucer people said...

I tried to put a comment on the Zebra Crossing post below this one but unfortunately the comments link takes you to a website!

So thank you so much for the Zebra Crossing album, its wonderful! one of those perfect disco/rock/prog late seventies cross-overs and the space-age costumes are just the icing on the cake!

I was looking for the Capuano 1978 "Close Encounters" album which is just impossible to find (not even an over-priced copy on Discogs at the moment!) so thanks for posting the title far I have only heard that and 'Maternal Desperation (Zeus) from the album but if they are anything to go by, its an absolute classic.

Clearly Mario & Giosy Capuano were really really talented and I am suprised they are not more well known. I have only ever heard the MA.GI.C 'Shampoo' 12 Inch on Youtube but its well worth a listen...just wait till the guitar kicks in! I nearly fell off my chair, its that good!:

If you ever come across a rip of the 'Close Encounters' album and want do a swap for some rare rips of my own just mail me at jackamo23ATgmailcom

Thanks again for the Zebra Crossing album, its astoundingly good!

Capuano - Close Encounters