11 Songs, 52 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A veteran of numerous straight-ahead jazz, R&B, and pop sessions, drummer/composer Harvey Mason revisits his own fusion past on Chameleon. The Fourplay cofounder gathered both his peers and next-generation players for this revisitation of electric jazz classics from the '70s. The late Grover Washington Jr.’s “Black Frost” opens the proceedings as Kamasi Washington (no relation) takes up tenor saxophone duties with a throaty approach. Kris Bowers and Cory King’s twin keyboard work anchors Mason’s pulsating drumming, which is also heard on that first Washington recording from 1974. “Montara,” Bobby Hutcherson’s breezy classic from a year later, is up next. Mason skillfully handles both Hutcherson’s iconic vibraphone role and the drumming (as he did on the original). The title track closes with an assist from Headhunter and legendary reed man Bill Summers, who reprises the breathy hinedewho introduction to “Watermelon Man” on this jazz-funk standard.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A veteran of numerous straight-ahead jazz, R&B, and pop sessions, drummer/composer Harvey Mason revisits his own fusion past on Chameleon. The Fourplay cofounder gathered both his peers and next-generation players for this revisitation of electric jazz classics from the '70s. The late Grover Washington Jr.’s “Black Frost” opens the proceedings as Kamasi Washington (no relation) takes up tenor saxophone duties with a throaty approach. Kris Bowers and Cory King’s twin keyboard work anchors Mason’s pulsating drumming, which is also heard on that first Washington recording from 1974. “Montara,” Bobby Hutcherson’s breezy classic from a year later, is up next. Mason skillfully handles both Hutcherson’s iconic vibraphone role and the drumming (as he did on the original). The title track closes with an assist from Headhunter and legendary reed man Bill Summers, who reprises the breathy hinedewho introduction to “Watermelon Man” on this jazz-funk standard.

TITLE TIME
6:08
5:31
5:58
1:35
6:48
1:06
7:03
5:19
1:44
7:01
4:01

About Harvey Mason

Throughout his career, Harvey Mason has been a busy studio musician and a highly versatile drummer able to excel in many different situations. Mason attended Berklee and graduated from the New England Conservatory. Early gigs included four months with Erroll Garner in 1970 and a year with George Shearing from 1970-1971. Soon after leaving Shearing, Mason moved to Los Angeles and quickly became established in the studios, working in films and television. In addition to his anonymous work through the years, Mason has often been part of the jazz world. He played with Herbie Hancock's Headhunters in 1973, Gerry Mulligan for a 1974 Carnegie Hall concert, Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington, Jr. (appearing on Mister Magic), Lee Ritenour, Victor Feldman, George Benson (playing drums on "This Masquerade"), and Bob James, among many others. In 1998, Mason paid tribute to Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in some local Los Angeles club gigs. The early 2000s found Mason continuing with his steady session work, as well as releasing two solo albums with 2003's Trios and 2004's With All My Heart. In 2014, Mason revisited his '70s Headhunters roots with Chameleon on Concord. ~ Scott Yanow

  • ORIGIN
    Atlantic City, NJ
  • GENRE
    Jazz
  • BORN
    February 22, 1947

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