Atlantic City’s Harvey Mason needs no introduction to fans of 70s jazz-fusion having provided his exceptional drumming talents as a sideman for a plethora of the genres greatest artists and albums. Captivated by music and song from an early age Mason graduated from New England Conservatory with a rich and varied musical palette and as a multi-instrumentalist. The opportunity to play percussion alongside and under some of the greats of the jazz era on prime-time network TV inevitably led to Mason being in high demand given the breadth of his experience. The list of high calibre jazz, soul and pop artists that benefited from his skills is staggering.
Stepping forward as a band leader in his own right in 1975, Mason went on to record his first five (self-produced) solo albums for Arista Records over a six-year period, recruiting the cream of the jazz-fusion scene to sing and play alongside him. This collection boasts the finest cuts from those five Arista albums, across two discs.
“Marching In The Street” (R&B # 93) is a propulsive, bubbling groove. ‘Building Love (Hymn),’ is a euphoric slow burner, both feature vocals by Randy Crawford.
“The Mace” boasts Greg Phillinganes on electric piano and a stunning eight-minute version of Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On?’ sees George Benson lend all his considerable talent. The soulful dancer ‘Till You Take My Love’ (R&B #57) has vocalist Merry Clayton giving a career high performance while ‘Groovin’ You’ (R&B # 58) is a disco-funk bomb with Mason showing off his percussive range, and ‘We Can Start Tonight’ (R&B #55) is early 80s dance music at its very best.
Every track can be argued as a stand-out moment given the rich and varied tempo, tone, feeling, attitude, atmosphere and exceptional musicianship prevalent across all five albums.
Big Break Records is proud to present the two-disc collection Harvey Mason – Sho Nuff Groovin’ You: The Arista Records Anthology (1975-1981). Featuring comprehensive liner notes from Christian John Wikane incorporating an illuminating new interview with Harvey Mason, this is essential listening and reading for all Jazz-Funk, Soul and Disco fans.