Alphonse Mouzon

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Alphonse Mouzon
Alphonse-mouzon-ffm-001.jpg
Mouzon in 2009
Background information
Birth nameAlphonse Lee Mouzon[1]
Born(1948-11-21)November 21, 1948[1]
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.[1]
Died25 December 2016(2016-12-25) (aged 68)[1]
Granada Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.[1]
GenresJazz, jazz fusion, jazz-funk, disco[1]
Occupation(s)Musician, music label owner
InstrumentsDrums, keyboards[1]
Years active1970–2016
LabelsBlue Note, Tenacious
Associated actsWeather Report, Eleventh House, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner
WebsiteTenaciousRecords.com

Alphonse Lee Mouzon[1] (November 21, 1948 – December 25, 2016, aged 68)[1] was an American jazz fusion drummer and the owner of Tenacious Records, a label that primarily released Mouzon's recordings. He was a composer, arranger, producer, and actor. He gained popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s.[2]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Mouzon, of African, French, and Blackfoot indian descent, was born on November 21, 1948, in Charleston, South Carolina.[1] He received his first musical training at Bonds-Wilson High School, and moved to New York City upon graduation. He studied drama and music at the City College of New York, as well as medicine at Manhattan Medical School. He continued receiving drum lessons from Bobby Thomas, the drummer for jazz pianist Billy Taylor. He played percussion in the 1968 Broadway show Promises, Promises, and he then worked with pianist McCoy Tyner. He spent a year as a member of the jazz fusion band, Weather Report.[1] After that Mouzon signed as a solo artist to the Blue Note label in 1972.

Career[edit]

Mouzon's visibility increased during his tenure with guitarist Larry Coryell's Eleventh House[1] fusion band from 1973 to 1975. Albums from this period include Introducing the Eleventh House, Level One, Mind Transplant (a solo album), and in 1977, a reconciliation recording with Coryell entitled Back Together Again.

Mouzon recorded Mind Transplant in 1974 with guitarist Tommy Bolin, who had previously played on Billy Cobham's Spectrum.

He recorded four R&B albums: The Essence of Mystery (Blue Note, 1972), Funky Snakefoot (Blue Note, 1973), The Man Incognito (Blue Note, 1976) (including "Take Your Troubles Away"), and in the 1980s By All Means, which featured Herbie Hancock, Lee Ritenour, the Seawind Horns, and Freddie Hubbard.

Mouzon performed with many prominent jazz-fusion musicians. In 1991, he performed with Miles Davis on the movie soundtrack album entitled Dingo. Mouzon composed the song The Blue Spot for the jazz club scene, and appeared as an actor and drummer in the Tom Hanks-directed film, That Thing You Do in 1996. Alphonse Mouzon played the role of Miles in the film The Highlife, which was exhibited at a film festival in Houston in 2003. He also can be seen with Michael Keaton and Katie Holmes in the film First Daughter, and as Ray in the movie The Dukes, along with Robert Davi, Chazz Palminteri and Peter Bogdanovich.

Mouzon played with Stevie Wonder,[1] Eric Clapton,[1] Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana,[1] Patrick Moraz, Betty Davis, and Chubby Checker. Robert Plant, lead singer of Led Zeppelin, during his acceptance speech for induction into the 1995 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, listed Alphonse Mouzon as one of the band's influences from American music.[citation needed]

In 1992, Mouzon formed Tenacious Records, and released his album The Survivor. Subsequent releases on Tenacious Records, including re-issues of earlier albums, included On Top of the World, Early Spring, By All Means, Love Fantasy, Back to Jazz, As You Wish, The Night is Still Young, The Sky is the Limit, Distant Lover, Morning Sun, and Absolute Greatest Love Songs and Ballads.

The 1981 album Morning Sun was his most successful album in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines. Most songs in the album, notably the title track, were extensively played on various FM and AM radio stations during that time, and are still being used in advertisements, commercials, social events, and radio news programmes in that country.

Mouzon played on a recording with Albert Mangelsdorff (trombone), and Jaco Pastorius (bass), named Trilogue. Originally recorded in 1976, and re-released in 2005, this performance was from November 6, 1976, at the Berlin Jazz Days.

In 2014, Mouzon was invited by producer Gerry Gallagher to record with Latin rock legends El Chicano, as well as David Paich, Brian Auger, Alex Ligertwood, Ray Parker Jr., Lenny Castro, Vikki Carr, Pete Escovedo, Peter Michael Escovedo, Jessy J, Marcos J. Reyes, Siedah Garrett, Walfredo Reyes Jr., Salvador Santana, and Spencer Davis, and is featured on drums on two tracks Make Love and The Viper, that are part of Gallagher's most recent studio album due to be released in 2019.

Health problems and death[edit]

On September 7, 2016, Mouzon was diagnosed with neuroendocrine carcinoma, a rare form of cancer.[1] His son, Jean-Pierre Mouzon, reported that his father had died of cardiac arrest at his home in Granada Hills, Los Angeles, California, on December 25, 2016, aged 68.[1]

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • 1973 The Essence of Mystery (Blue Note)
  • 1974 Funky Snakefoot (Blue Note)
  • 1975 Mind Transplant (Blue Note)
  • 1976 The Man Incognito (Blue Note)
  • 1977 Virtue (MPS)
  • 1977 Back Together Again
  • 1978 In Search of a Dream (MPS)
  • 1979 Baby Come Back (MPS)
  • 1981 By All Means (Tenacious)
  • 1981 Morning Sun (Tenacious)
  • 1982 Step into the Funk (Polydor)
  • 1984 Distant Lover (Tenacious)
  • 1985 Back to Jazz (Tenacious)
  • 1985 The Sky Is the Limit (Tenacious)
  • 1986 Eleventh House (Pausa)
  • 1987 Love, Fantasy (Tenacious)
  • 1988 Early Spring (Tenacious)
  • 1988 Talk Back (WEA)
  • 1989 As You Wish (Tenacious)
  • 1992 The Survivor (Tenacious)
  • 1994 On Top of the World (Tenacious)
  • 1996 Secret Message (Prudence)
  • 1996 The Night is Still Young (Tenacious)
  • 2001 Live in Hollywood (Tenacious)
  • 2008 Jazz in Bel-Air (Tenacious)
  • 2011 Angel Face (Tenacious)[3]

As sideman[edit]

With Arild Andersen

With Donald Byrd

With Herbie Hancock

With Bobbi Humphrey

With John Klemmer

With Joachim Kühn

  • Hip Elegy (1975)

With Les McCann

With McCoy Tyner

With Wayne Shorter

With Weather Report

With Eugene McDaniels

  • Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse (1971)

With Betty Davis

  • Hangin' Out in Hollywood / Crashin' from Passion (1976/1995/1996)

With MOUZON (rapper aka Alphonse Philippe Mouzon)

  • The Main Attraction (2010)

With Infinity

  • Now (1990)

With Doug Carn

  • Spirit of the New Land (1972)

With Norman Connors

  • Dance of Magic (1973)

With Willie Colon

With Poussez

With Larry Coryell

With Al Di Meola

With Torsten de Winkel and Hellmut Hattler

  • Mastertouch (1992)

With Miles Davis

With Gil Evans

With Roberta Flack

With Fania All-Stars

  • Fania All-Stars – Live (1978)

With Carlos Garnett

  • The New Love (1976)

With George Gruntz

  • Palais Anthology (1975)

With Tim Hardin

With Miki Howard

With Paul Jackson

  • Black Octopus (1978)

With Paul Jackson Jr.

  • Never Alone (1996)

With Alphonso Johnson

  • Moonshadows (1976)

With Patrick Moraz

With Jeremy Steig

Awards[edit]

  • Listed in the 2nd edition of Marquis Who's Who in Entertainment and Who's Who in the World.
  • Voted the No. 2 best multi-instrumentalist in the 1995 JAZZIZ Magazine Annual Readers Poll.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Chinen, Nate (December 28, 2016). "Alphonse Mouzon, Jazz and Fusion Drummer, Dies at 68". NYTimes.com. The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  2. ^ Prato, Greg. "Alphonse Mouzon – music biography, credits and discography". AllMusic. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
  3. ^ "Alphonse Mouzon | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved October 21, 2017.

External links[edit]