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Album Review

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.


Born: 23 March 1953 in Great Lakes, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known in the mainstream for her superb 1984 cover of Prince's "I Feel for You," R&B singer Chaka Khan enjoyed solo success as well as popularity as a member of the group Rufus. Born Yvette Marie Stevens in Great Lakes, IL, on March 23, 1953, she was raised on Chicago's South Side, and at the age of 11 formed her first group, the Crystalettes. While still in high school, she joined the Afro-Arts Theater, a group which toured with Motown great Mary Wells; a few years later, she adopted the African...
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Masterjam, Chaka Khan
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