Mouzon in 2009
|Birth name||Alphonse Lee Mouzon|
November 21, 1948|
Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.
|Died||December 25, 2016
Granada Hills, California, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion, jazz-funk|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, label owner|
|Labels||Blue Note, Tenacious|
|Associated acts||Weather Report, Eleventh House, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner|
Alphonse Lee Mouzon (November 21, 1948 – December 25, 2016) was an American jazz fusion drummer and the owner of Tenacious Records, a label that primarily releases Mouzon's recordings. He was a composer, arranger, producer and actor. He gained popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
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 during 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.
He recorded four R & B albums, 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.
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, 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, 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 programs 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 2017.
Health problems and death
- The Essence of Mystery (Blue Note, 1973)
- Funky Snakefoot (Blue Note, 1974)
- Mind Transplant (Blue Note, 1975)
- The Man Incognito (Blue Note, 1976)
- 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/Mouzon Music, 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
With Arild Andersen
- A Molde Concert (ECM, 1981)
With Donald Byrd
- Caricatures (1976)
With Herbie Hancock
With Bobbi Humphrey
- Dig This! (1972)
With John Klemmer
- Magic and Movement (Impulse!, 1974)
With Joachim Kühn
- Hip Elegy (1975)
With Les McCann
- Invitation to Openness (Atlantic, 1972)
With McCoy Tyner
With Wayne Shorter
- Odyssey of Iska (1971)
With Weather Report
- Weather Report(1971)
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)
- Now (1990)
With Doug Carn
- Spirit of the New Land (1972)
With Norman Connors
- Dance of Magic (1973)
With Willie Colon
- Poussez! (Vanguard, 1979)
With Larry Coryell
- Introducing Eleventh House with Larry Coryell (1973)
- Live in Montreux (1974)
- Level One (1974)
- Planet End (1975)
- The Coryells (1999)
With Al Di Meola
- Land of the Midnight Sun (1976)
- Mastertouch (1992)
With Miles Davis
- Dingo (1990)
With Gil Evans
- Blues in Orbit (1969)
With Roberta Flack
- Feel Like Makin' Love (1974)
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
- Bird on a Wire' (1971)
With Miki Howard
- Three Wishes (2001)
With Paul Jackson
- Black Octopus (1978)
With Paul Jackson Jr.
- Never Alone (1996)
With Alphonso Johnson
- Moonshadows (1976)
With Patrick Moraz
- The Story of I (1976)
- 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.
- Prato, Greg. "Alphonse Mouzon – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". Allmusic. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
- Chinen, Nate (December 28, 2016). "Alphonse Mouzon, Jazz and Fusion Drummer, Dies at 68". The New York Times.