Posts Tagged ‘ Harvey Mason ’

Harvey Mason – Chameleon

A mosaic of a smiling Harvey Mason graces the cover of Chameleon (Concord Records, 2014), the renowned drummer’s homage to the Head Hunters recording as well as a nod to Mason’s nickname, a reference to his versatility.

A legendary session drummer, producer, composer, recording artist and member of Fourplay, Mason is one of the most sought-after and recorded musicians on the planet.

Kasami Washington sits in on “Black Frost,” a tune composed by Mason’s Fourplay bandmate Bob James with Grover Washington Jr. The arrangement is reminiscent of mid-1970s jazz, the style popularized in that period by artists like Grover Washington, Tom Scott and Wayne Shorter. Kasami makes the tenor squeak and squeal in key points. Also contributing are arranger Corey “Ck” King on synths and trombone, Matthew Stevens on guitar, Kris Bowers on Fender Rhodes, Ben Williams on electric bass and Bill Summers on percussion. Mason gets his licks in, but this song is all about Washington.

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Harvey Mason – Chameleon

HMason_34113_CMLEON_5x5RGB300Chameleon, the scintillating Concord Records debut from multi-GRAMMY® nominated Harvey Mason, finds him drawing upon the rich jazz-funk legacy of the 1970s and recasting seven of that era’s most enduring classics with an early 21st-century sheen. A legendary session drummer, producer, composer and recording artist, Mason is among the most recorded and in-demand musicians of all-time.

Co-produced by Chris Dunn, Sr. Director of A&R for Concord Music Group, Chameleon features some of the brightest young jazz talents on the scene today. NEXT Collective alumni such as trumpeter Christian Scott, bassist Ben Williams, pianist/keyboardist Kris Bowers, guitarist Matthew Stevens enliven Chameleon. Bringing more young firepower to the fore are trombonist/vocalist Corey “CK” King, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, vocalist Chris Turner, and keyboardist/electronica producer, Mark de Clive-Lowe.

Helping Mason steer this cooperative are some of his contemporaries – bassist and co-founder of the legendary Yellowjackets, Jimmy Haslip; percussionist and founder of Los Hombres El Caliente, Bill Summers; and bassist Paul Jackson. Summers and Jackson worked with Mason on Herbie Hancock’s 1973 landmark LP, Head Hunters. Continue reading

Too long a Fourplay? There’s no such thing! :)

After 20 years of Fourplay, maybe they felt we should move on…”, says Chuck Loeb in a jocular manner later that night, employing the pun on words in the band’s name when introducing one of the songs he contributed to Fourplay’s 12th album “Let’s Touch the Sky”. While the cover art suggests that very endeavor with the band member’s hands reaching up, nearly two hours of stellar live music performances left no doubt among avid music lovers who had flocked to Bayerischer Hof Night Club on this November, 8th 2011 night that Smooth Jazz’s famous supergroup are doing exactly that: They’re not only touching the sky, but weaving a musical skyscape with arrangements and solos that exude virtuosity, verve and vitality in equal parts.

Katharina Ehmki, CEO of Ehmki Music Management, promoter and press relations at the venue, landed the renowned music act as a major highlight of her New York at Bayerischer Hof series, and proved her experienced hand at knowing Jazz fans’ expectations: Fourplay packed the place to the last available seat and had every non-seated area crowded as well! Which might explain why fans had started to line up well before admittance at 8 pm, as Fourplay had sold out many venues prior to coming to Munich. I’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time and I was curious to see, what Chuck Loeb would sound like in this rarity of a group of musical heavyweights, where each of them is undoubtedly a leader in their own right, yet they appear to have kept ego out of the way and managed to amalgamate four strong musical personalities into a band – and with a formula that’s been going strong for the past two decades with only two changes to the line-up: Prior to Loeb, Larry Carlton held the guitar seat from 1998 through 2010, while Lee Ritenour was a founding member and stayed from 1991 through 1997.

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