James Mason has been big with diggers for years. Original copies of Rhythm Of Life tend to go for astronomical prices and with good reason. First released in 1977, the album is a masterpiece of soulful jazz funk that gave birth to a few early disco classics. Mason was a keyboard player and song writer that worked with Roy Ayers, amongst other musicians. A few Ayers associates are featured on Rhythm Of Life, Justo Almario on saxophone and Philip Woo on piano, along with a young Narada Michael Walden who adds some excellent drums to the record. The most known tracks are the breakbeat classic "Funny Girl," and the funky grooves of "Sweet Power Your Embrace." Don't stop there though, as nearly every cut is a winner. Check the uptempo soul of "Free," a Ron Hardy favorite, and the jazzy "Slick City." Quality material from end to end. Mason would go on to write and produce Wuf Ticket's boogie disco classic "The Key," as well as the proto house of "Nightgruv" and the slo-mo boogie soul of "I Want Your Love." Recommended.
- music label: Chiaroscuro Records 1977 / 2014
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 08/2014