Thursday, November 17, 2016

Rufus - 1979 - Masterjam


01. Do You Love What You Feel 4:27
02. Any Love 4:50
03. Heaven Bound 3:45
04. Walk The Rockway 4:04
05. Live In Me 3:54
06. Body Heat 5:45
07. I'm Dancing For Your Love 4:31
08. What Am I Missing? 4:03
09. Masterjam 3:34

Chaka Khan – lead vocals, background vocals
Tony Maiden – guitar, vocals
Kevin Murphy – keyboards
John "J.R." Robinson – drums, percussion
Bobby Watson – bass
David "Hawk" Wolinski – keyboards
Seawind – horns
Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, Larry Hall – trumpet, flugelhorn
Kim Hutchcroft, Larry Williams – saxophone, flute
Bill Reichenbach Jr., Lew McCreary – trombone
Louis Johnson, George Johnson, Richard Heath – percussion, handclapping

As Khan released her first solo album, I'm Every Woman, the band released 1978's Numbers, sans Khan, and it went absolutely nowhere. Masterjam finds them back together, renamed Rufus and Chaka, with Quincy Jones producing the effort. Khan had worked with Jones on his 1978 album, Sounds...And Stuff Like That. The most striking thing about Masterjam is that is doesn't sound like a trademark Rufus effort. Jones' production style is so strong that the band's individual sound is all but lost. It's nothing to cry about, since Jones was at his R&B/pop peak and Rufus couldn't do it any better on their own. The album's first track is "Do What You Love What You Feel," with its subtle horn riffs arranged by Jerry Hey and vocals from guitarist Tony Maiden and Khan. On a track somewhat close to a ballad, the brilliantly arranged "Heaven Bound," Jones gets a good raw vocal from Khan. A frequent Jones collaborator, Rod Temperton, offers the title track and the even better "Live in Me." The album's only low point was a cover of Jones' own "Body Heat." On this version the pace is quickened, inexplicably turned into disco which revealed the lyrics to be paper-thin. Although Masterjam was just more of a Quincy Jones album than a Rufus effort, this ended up being one of the groups' last successful full-studio endeavors.

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