AT A GLANCE…

Harvey William Mason was born in 1947 in New Jersey and is a highly acclaimed jazz drummer. He is also responsible for one of my favourite tracks of all time – Groovin’ You – which was released in 1979, taken from the same-titled album under Arista records that same year.

With the handclaps, the agogô (go-go bells], the tambourine, temple blocks and timpani… the vibraslap… vocals of cha-ca-cha… the falsetto… and the bass “bom bom bom bom bom bom bom”… that “groovin’ you” growl… and so on. I never tire of this track, and often play it to myself on repeat. Enjoy it here now.

It also gave birth to the massive hit in 1995 by house music producer Gusto entitled Disco’s Revenge, of which there are many mixes, this being just one.

Prior to Groovin You he released the album and titular single Marching In The Street in 1975 which, amongst others, features Randy Crawford on vocals.

Both of these albums thus mentioned, together with the stellar classic jazz/funk albums Earthmover, Funk In A Mason Jar and M.V.P. are well worth discovery if you are not yet acquainted – this really is the best in musicianship coming to the fore.

Limiting myself to just one from each… mmm, this is a toughie… I’ll go for ones that swing with such uplift of mood, elevation is always good.

With Earthmover I go for K.Y. And The Curb.

On to Funk In A Mason and it is Phantazia.

And from M.V.P. I choose Universal Rhyme.

Along with his own productions, Harvey Mason has collaborated with many other great artists, such as Donald Byrd, first on Street Lady in 1973…

…followed by Stepping into Tomorrow in 1974…

…and Places and Spaces in 1975.

1976 saw him again with Donald Byrd for Caricatures and also joining George Benson for that true classic Breezin’.

The list of who he has worked alongside is almost inexhaustible – “flip across your radio dial on any given day and you’re sure to come across a gem that Harvey Mason has polished” (fourplayjazz.com) – Seal’s Kiss from a Rose in 1995 for example.

He truly is a master quite unparalleled. I trust this brief glance at some of his work here inspires you to delve further in, an odyssey of plenty as it is; it certainly has me.

Giles Addison

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