21 November 1948
Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, United States
26 December 2016 (aged 68)
Alphonse Mouzon (November 21, 1948 – December 26, 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 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 guitarist Tommy Bolin, who had previously played on Billy Cobham's Spectrum.
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 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 in 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.
Mouzon resided in Northridge, California.
In 2014, Mouzon recorded with Latin rock legends El Chicano and is featured on drums on two tracks from El Chicano's most recent studio album.
On September 7, 2016, Mouzon was diagnosed with neuroendocrine carcinoma, a rare form of cancer. He started a GoFundMe campaign to help with the cost of treatments and medications, and posted updates on his Facebook page regarding his condition.
Mouzon passed away from cardiac arrest, at home with his daughter Emma on December 26, 2016.
Alphonse Mouzon is an American jazz drummer who first came to the public eye in the 60s working with McCoy Tyner. He was later a founding member of Weather Report, then went on to a solo career, specializing during the 70s in funky jazz fusion. He has also appeared on recordings and live with such diverse artists as Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Patrick Moraz, Tommy Bolin and Chubby Checker as well as jazz notables like Gil Evans, Roy Ayers, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Clarke and dozens of others. He has also recorded extensively with European jazz players: Klaus Doldinger's Passport, Joachim Kühn, and Jasper van't Hof.
Artist descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.