Alphonse Mouzon, born November 21, 1948 and died December 25, 2016, was an American jazz fusion drummer. He also owned Tenacious Records which primarily released Mouzon’s recordings. He was an actor, composer, arranger, producer, and actor. He was popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
Mouzon is of African, French, and Blackfoot descent. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on November 21, 1948.
After graduating from Bonds-Wilson High School, he moved to New York City. He also studied drama and music at City College of New York, as well as medicine at Manhattan Medical School. Bobby Thomas, who was the drummer for Billy Taylor’s jazz piano player, continued to teach him drum lessons. He was a percussionist in “Promises, Promises” on Broadway, and then he worked with McCoy Tyner. He was a member for a year of Weather Report, a jazz fusion group. In 1972, Mouzon was signed as a solo artist by the Blue Note label.
His visibility grew with his time with Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House Fusion band, 1973-1975. These albums include Introducing the Eleventh house, Level One, Mind Transplant (a single album) and, in 1977, a reconciliation record with Coryell called Back Together Again.
Mouzon recorded Mind Transplant with Tommy Bolin in 1974. Bolin had previously been a guitarist on Billy Cobham’s Spectrum.
Four R & B albums were recorded by him, including The Essence of Mystery (1972), Funky Snakefoot (1973), and The Man Incognito (1976). He also recorded ‘Take Your Troubles Away’. In the 1980s, By All Means featured Herbie Hancock and Lee Ritenour as well as Seawind Horns, Freddie Hubbard, and Seawind Horns.
Mouzon has performed with many jazz-fusion artists. He performed with Miles Davis in 1991 on the soundtrack album “Dingo”. Mouzon wrote the song “The Blue Spot”, which was used in jazz clubs. He also appeared in 1996’s Tom Hanks-directed movie, That Thing You Do. Alphonse Mouzon was the “Miles”, a role he played in The Highlife. It was shown at Houston’s 2003 film festival. You can also see him with Katie Holmes and Michael Keaton in First Daughter. He is also seen as Ray in The Dukes with Robert Davi and Chazz Palminteri.
Mouzon was a member of the Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck bands. Robert Plant, the lead singer of Led Zeppelin cited Alphonse Mouzon’s influence from American music in his acceptance speech to be inducted into the 1995 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Mouzon founded Tenacious Records in 1992 and released The Survivor. The Survivor was followed by On Top of the World and Early Spring.
Morning Sun, his 1981 album, was his most popular album in Southeast Asia, especially in the Philippines. The album’s title track and many other songs were played on numerous AM and FM radio stations. They are still used in ads, commercials, and news radio programs in the Philippines.
Mouzon was part of a recording called Trilogue that included Albert Mangelsdorff (trombone) and Jaco Pastorius(bass). This performance, originally recorded in 1976, was re-released by the Berlin Jazz Days in 2005.
Mouzon lived in Northridge, California.
Producer Gerry Gallagher invited Mouzon to record with Latin rock legends El Chicano and Alex Ligertwood. Also, Vikki Car, Ray Parker Jr. and Ray Parker Jr. were present. Jesy J, Marcos Reyes and Salvador Santana are also featured on Mouzon’s drums on “Make Love” (and “The Viper”), which are part of Gallagher’s latest studio album, due out in 2017.
Mouzon was diagnosed on September 7, 2016 with neuroendocrine cancer, a rare type of cancer. To help pay for treatment and medication costs, he started a GoFundMe account and updated his Facebook page with updates about his condition.
Alphonse Mouzon started having trouble breathing on Christmas morning. Emma, Alphonse’s daughter, immediately started CPR and Allison called 911. EMT staff arrived and attempted to revive Alphonse. He was eventually declared dead after several failed attempts. His sons immediately arrived at the home in Granada Hills to say goodbye to their father.
Mouzon passed away on December 26, 2016.