Harvey Mason's 2014 effort, Chameleon, is an expansive and funky album that finds the journeyman jazz drummer exploring the space between the '70s post-bop/fusion albums that marked his early career and the contemporary smooth jazz work that has defined the latter half of his career. Having started out playing with the masterful pianist Erroll Garner, Mason eventually join Herbie Hancock's legendary Headhunters ensemble, with whom he recorded the original version of this album's title track. And while he went on to a successful career working with a bevy of artists including Lee Ritenour, George Benson, and others, it is primarily his work with Hancock that is Mason's focus here.
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.
Carry On is a four-CD set, spanning 50 years and includes more than five hours of music and includes a 113 page booklet. Produced by Graham Nash and Joel Bernstein with Stephen Stills, Rhino s anthology spotlights the remarkable scope of stills career with essential recordings, live cuts, new mixes, and 25 previously unreleased tracks. The tracks unfold mostly in chronological order, and the anthology leads off with its oldest entry: "Travelin " a previously unreleased recording that Stills made at age 17 in Costa Rica (one of the many places he lived growing up in a military family). The youngest track, recorded only a few months ago, features CSN performing "Girl From The North Country" in New York City during a sold-out five-night run at the Beacon Theater that closed the group s acclaimed 2012 world tour.
Vivaldi's sacred music is not so famous as that of his contemporaries Bach and Handel, so this is a bargain opportunity to catch up. You might think Vivaldi's playful, virtuoso Italianate character and Catholic context would produce radically different music, but in George Guest's urgent readings, the mixture of restrainedly exultant choruses and austerely beautiful arias are near-identical to Bach.