It's hard to argue with this two-fer issued by the fine Beat Goes On label from Great Britain, as it pairs two of former Traffic guitarist Dave Mason's finest records on a single disc. Alone Together featured the hit "Only You Know and I Know," as well as "Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave," and "Look at You, Look at Me." Headkeeper contains "Pearly Queen," his solo version of "Headkeeper," "Feelin' Alright?," and "World in Changes." What these discs most reveal is just how deep Mason's roots went into R&B, soul, and into country as well. If anything, Mason would have been right at home on a Delaney & Bonnie record as his sensibilities were closely allied with theirs. Mason was always underrated and, in America at least, under-noticed. These records are as fine as anything Eric Clapton ever issued solo. The comparison is fair because they were both digging into the same territory at the time, only Mason's delivery and understated guitar playing come off as far more emotionally honest.
Originally from Virginia, Mason was another example of an American hard rock band that took its influences from the British underground and 1960s’ psychedelic scene. This heavy rock album was initially released in 1971 through a tiny homemade pressing but through the years it has gained collectiblity and originals have fetched high prices as the band’s reputation has spread among collectors. The album has been bootlegged a number of times over the past years with various covers in both CD and LP format. Mason’s music combines the keyboard work of such bands as Deep Purple and the acoustics & complexity of Jethro Tull together with strong vocals, songwriting, and excellent instrumentation.
The chamber works on this recording encompass a variety of instrumental groupings and a range of moods from the humour and lightness of the Serenade to the serious magnificence of the Piano Quintet, a five-movement ‘memorial’ developing the tradition of so great a work as Shostakovich’s single-movement work for this combination. The Three Madrigals set a three-language cycle of miniature poems by Francisco Tanzer, poems which themselves encapsulates much that is distinctively Schnittke through their epigrammatic atmosphere of cryptic completeness.