Harvey William Mason (born February 22, 1947, in Atlantic City, New Jersey) is an American jazz drummer. He has worked with many jazz and fusion artists, including Bob James, The Brecker Brothers, Lee Ritenour, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters and almost all the Mizell Brothers productions with Donald Byrd, Johnny Hammond, Bobbi Humphrey and Gary Bartz. He is featured on George Benson's 1976 album Breezin'. Harvey is also the percussionist for the contemporary jazz group Fourplay, which includes keyboardist Bob James, guitarist Chuck Loeb, and bassist Nathan East.
In 1979 Mason Sr released the hit single "Groovin' You", a disco-stomping tune, from the album of the same name. It was sampled by house music producer Gusto in his 1995 hit single "Disco's Revenge".
You will have only begun to scratch the surface by identifying the masterful Harvey Mason as just a drummer. Yes, his precision time keeping and versatility have placed him among THE most in-demand and most recorded session drummers of all-time. Yes, his tumbling tom-tom fills and the lickity slick synchronization between his hi-hat cymbals, snare and bass drums are instantly recognizable signatures. Yes, he’s been hired by everyone from Barbra Streisand to James Brown to Mary J to Herbie Hancock to Jennifer Hudson to Frank Sinatra to John Legend to the London Symphony Orchestra. Yes, he has won four 1st place plaques from Modern Drummer magazine’s annual studio poll and has been the first call drummer for the Academy Awards ceremonies on 25 occasions.
He’s composed and written songs recorded by artists ranging from Nancy Wilson , Mary J. Blige, Notorius Big and T.I.
As a producer, he introduced the world to the Hawaii-based Christian jazz septet Seawind, which inadvertently brought one of the most in-demand horn arrangers (Jerry Hey) and horn sections (the Seawind horns) to Los Angeles and promptly introduced them to Quincy Jones as the tightest and most creative horn section he’d ever heard. (Quincy obviously agreed) He also produced the debut album by Midnight Star (The Beginning), inaugurating what would become one of the ‘80s most influential techno-funk groups, Lee Ritenour’s largest selling hit, “Is it You” and Dionne Warwick (Fragile).
Harvey is a founding member of the contemporary jazz “super group”ƒOURPLAY , where he flexes his writing, playing, arranging and production skills with partners Bob James, Nathan East and Chuck Loeb (the latter of whom replaced Larry Carlton who had replaced original member Lee Ritenour). ƒOURPLAY’s debut album sat atop Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart for thirty-four weeks, leading to a platinum album, three subsequent gold discs, a Soul Train Music Award and 10 Grammy nominations, to date.
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