Alphonse Mouzon

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Alphonse Mouzon
Born (1948-11-21) November 21, 1948 (age 68)
Charleston, South Carolina
Genres Jazz fusion, jazz-funk, post-bop
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, arranger, actor, businessman
Instruments Drums, percussion, vocals, keyboards, synthesiser
Years active 1970 – present
Labels Blue Note, Tenacious
Associated acts Weather Report, Eleventh House, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner

Alphonse Mouzon (born November 21, 1948) is an American jazz-fusion drummer and percussionist, and the owner of Tenacious Records, a label that primarily releases Mouzon's recordings. He also composes, arranges and produces, as well as acts. Alphonse Mouzon's popularity as a performing artist first became realized in the late 1960s and early 1970s.[1]


Early life[edit]

Mouzon, of African, French and Blackfoot descent, was born on November 21, 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina.

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 Broadway show "Promises, Promises", he then worked with pianist McCoy Tyner. He spent a year as a member of the jazz fusion band, Weather Report. After that Mouzon signed as a solo artist to the Blue Note label in 1972.


Mouzon's visibility increased with his tenure with guitarist Larry Coryell's Eleventh House 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 Tommy Bolin, who had previously played on Billy Cobham's Spectrum.

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

Alphonse Mouzon has also played and/or recorded with many of the active musicians of the jazz-fusion genre. 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 has also played with Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Patrick Moraz, Betty Davis and Chubby Checker. Robert Plant, lead singer of Led Zeppelin, during his acceptance speech for induction into the 1995 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, listed Alphonse Mouzon as one of the band's influences from American music.

In 1992 Alphonse Mouzon formed Tenacious Records and, also in 1992, released his CD entitled The Survivor. Subsequent releases on Tenacious Records include 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" is his most prominent and most famous album in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines. Most songs in the album, most notably the title track, were extensively played in various FM and AM radio stations during that time, and are still being used as background music in advertisements, commercials, social events, and radio news programs in the country.

Mouzon also 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.

He currently resides in Northridge, California.

Mouzon is currently recording with Latin Rock legends El Chicano and is featured on drums on two tracks from El Chicano's most recent studio album due to be released in April 2014.

Health Issues[edit]

On September 7, 2016, Mouzon was diagnosed with Stage 3-4 Neuroendocrine Carcinoma, a rare form of cancer. He has since started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the cost of treatments and medications,[2] and post updates on his Facebook page regarding his condition.[3]


As leader[edit]

  • The Essence of Mystery (Blue Note, 1972)
  • Funky Snakefoot (Blue Note, 1973)
  • Mind Transplant (Blue Note, 1974)
  • The Man Incognito (Blue Note, 1975)
  • Virtue, 1977
  • Back Together Again, 1977
  • In Search of a Dream, 1978
  • Baby Come Back, 1979
  • By All Means, 1980 and 1993 +
  • I'm Glad That You're Here - 12" single on London Recordings (Pausa Records inc / Mouzon Music Co) 1981
  • Morning Sun, 1981 and 1996 +
  • Step Into the Funk, 1982 and as "Distant Lover" 1996 +
  • The Sky is the Limit, 1985 and 1996 +
  • Back to Jazz, 1985 and 1993 +
  • Eleventh House, 1985
  • Love Fantasy, 1987 +
  • Early Spring, 1988 and 1996 +
  • As You Wish, 1989 and 1995 +
  • The Survivor, 1992 +
  • On Top of the World, 1994 +
  • The Night is Still Young, 1996 +
  • Absolute Greatest Love Songs & Ballads, 1998 +
  • Live in Hollywood, 2001 +
  • Jazz in Bel-Air, 2008 +
  • Angel Face, 2011 +

+ = Tenacious Records

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

With MOUZON (rapper aka Alphonse Philippe Mouzon)

With Infinity

With Doug Carn

With Norman Conners

With Willie Colon

With Poussez

  • Poussez! (1979) Vanguard Records

With Larry Coryell

With Al Di Meola

With Torsten de Winkel and Hellmut Hattler

With Miles Davis

With Gil Evans

With Roberta Flack

With Fania All-Stars

With Carlos Garnett

With George Gruntz

With Tim Hardin

With Miki Howard

With Paul Jackson

With Paul Jackson Jr.

  • Never Alone (1996)

With Alphonso Johnson

With Patrick Moraz


  • listed in the 2nd edition of Marquis Who's Who in Entertainment and Who's Who In The World.
  • voted the #2 best multi-instrumentalist in the 1995 JAZZIZ Magazine Annual Readers Poll.


External links[edit]