Making old school new cool, Harvey Mason unleashes a jazz/funk feast for the ages!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Who says you can't go home again? While seven gems from the seventies are given a second chance at life, Chameleon is a decidedly vibrant forward moving contemporary masterpiece. Some of the finest young lions in the business join Harvey including trumpet giant Christian Scott, critically acclaimed bassist Ben Williams and rising star Kris Bowers on piano. Some of Mason's contemporaries lend a hand including premier bassist Jimmy Haslip along with Bill Summers and bassist Paul Jackson.
The genesis for this dynamic outing came when Mason formed a band based on the original Herbie Hancock's Head Hunters group. After a tour that was wildly successful in Japan, the album was born. Chameleon opens with a funked out riff on the Grover Washington Jr. classic "Black Forrest." Kamasi Washington is another up and coming star on tenor and he lays down a blistering solo. The blues infused guitar of Matthew Stevens turns this into a contemporary jazz nasty that could easily chart today. Bobby Hutcherson's "Montara" has been sampled in the hip-hop world. Harvey Mason handles the duties on vibes and allows Stevens who handled the arrangement to run the point and with great success. Mark de Clive-Lowe adds the classic retro Fender Rhodes sound with the end result as flavor on flavor.
The sound is crisp, the funk is fresh and the lyrical sense of purpose never waivers. Harvey Mason opens a new chapter in his prolific career with arguably his best solo release yet. Still a member of Fourplay, Harvey Mason never misses a beat. While the year is still young, Chameleon is one of finest releases across any genre for 2014.
You can go home again!
Tracks: Black Frost; Montana; If I Ever Lose This Heaven; Looking Back; Before The Dawn; Hold On One Second (Studio Life) Places and Spaces; Either Way; Mase's Theme; Chameleon.
Photo Credit - Devin DeHaven