Last Call Review: Harvey Mason / Chameleon / Concord Jazz

Jun 2, 2014

Drummer Harvey Mason is back with a recording that celebrates some of the grooviest jazz-funk of the 1970s with some of today's top players.  Mason's contributions to the vibrant jazz-funk of the 1970s are immediately recognizable for those familiar with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters.

Harvey Mason was in the studio with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters for the recording session that resulted in the hit record  named after the band.  Headhunters was an instant classic. Mason has also worked with Bob James(in the original recording session for "Black Frost") and The Brecker Brothers, in addition to being featured on George Benson's 1976 album Breezin', among associations with many other musicians in and out of jazz. 

Havey Mason is a multi-GRAMMY nominated artist. A legendary session drummer, producer, artist, and composer, Mason has played on hundreds of recordings, movie and TV scores and commercial jingles.  Mason is a "go-to" drummer for musicians in many genres of music including Latin, pop, Classical, R & B and jazz.  He has also performed with the GRAMMY nominated ensemble Fourplay for two decades,  in addition to leading a band based on the first edition of the Headhunters  outfit for a series of live dates in Japan.  Those performances led to the current release,  Chameleon.

For the new session, Mason has assembled a solid team of players in the studio. Kamasi Washington's assured, fiery saxophone work   is featured the modern update of "Black Frost", originally written by Bob James and Grover Washington, Jr.  Vocalist Chris Turner is presented on an contemporary version of "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" which appeared on the Quincy Jones 1974 funk classic Body Heat. "Places and Spaces", originally on a mid-70's Donald Byrd recording, is given a new twist here with trumpeter Christian Scott and Corey "CK" King making important contributions. Mason takes "Chameleon", the classic Headhunters line, in a tasteful modern direction with Bill Summers on vocals and percussion.

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