Harvey Mason
Kozmigroov Albums
Marching In The Street [Arista, 1975]
Earth Mover [Arista, 1976]
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Harvey Mason was the original Headhunters drummer, appearing on Herbie Hancock's album of the same name (then replaced by Mike Clark in the subsequent albums credited to the Headhunters.) Arguably his finest recorded moment is on Hancock's "Shiftless Shuffle" (Mr. Hands version) where his frantic breakbeat drumming evokes a programmed beat machine in its unwavering adherence to a complex pattern. Incredible! Marching is kinda snoozy at times, tho the reunion of the original Headhunters lineup on "Hop Scotch" slightly beats the version of the same cut on Eddie Henderson's Sunburst lp.  Mason's version avoids the dull disco rhythm on the refrain, and c'mon, it's got Herbie on keys! Earth Mover is almost all pedestrian disco funk, with a possible redeeming shot of kozmik funk in their reworking of Stafford James' "Bertha Baptist", (check also the stompin' original version on Gary Bartz' JuJu Street Songs.) The trio cut "No Lands Man" acts as a showcase for Mason's trap capabilities, but whereas "Shiftless Shuffle" offered a tidy balance of ideas and technique, this cut simply sinks into showy yet vacant solos. Harvey's recordings only got slicker from hereon, most likely due to his affiliation with the GRP cabal. [DW]