Little Known Black History Fact: Alphonse Mouzon

little-known-black-history-fact-alphonse-mouzon

Alphonse Mouzon was one of the early leaders of the jazz fusion movement of the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. Mouzon was a versatile drummer who influenced other musicians beyond the genres of jazz and R&B.

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Mouzon was born November 21, 1948 in Charleston, S.C. After taking to music in high school, Mouzon traveled to New York to study drama and music at the City College of New York and also medicine at the Manhattan Medical School. Simultaneously, Mouzon furthered his training as a drummer under the tutelage of jazz pianist Billy Taylor’s drummer, Bobby Thomas.

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In the early 70s, after playing in the Broadway show “Promises, Promises,” Mouzon became the final piece in the fusion band The Weather Report. Creative differences led to Mouzon leaving the band but he embarked on a long career as a band leader and side man from that point on.

In 1972, Mouzon released the first of over two dozen albums with the debut album, “The Essence of Mystery.”

For the remainder of the decade and much of the next, Mouzon played as a side man for Herbie Hancock, Roberta Flack, Betty Davis, and was a prominent member of Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House band. Mouzon’s last studio recording was 2011’s Angel Face on his label, Tenacious Records which he founded in the ’90’s.

In 2016, Mouzon was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and died at his Los Angeles home ion Christmas Day.

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