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sábado, 24 de agosto de 2013

Alphonse Mouzon - Just a Fusion Jazz Drummer

Alphonse Mouzon (born November 21, 1948) is a well-known 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.

Mouzon, of African-American, 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.

Originally released in May 1971, Weather Report was the debut album by the group of the same name. The style of music on this album can be described as avant-garde jazz with electric instruments. It continues the style of Miles Davis album Bitches Brew (on which Zawinul and Shorter played) but in a more ambient setting.

The Band:
Joe Zawinul – Electric and acoustic piano
Wayne Shorter – Soprano saxophone
Miroslav Vitouš – Electric and acoustic bass
Alphonse Mouzon – Drums, voice
Airto Moreira – Percussion
Barbara Burton – Percussion (uncredited)
Don Alias – Percussion (uncredited)

"Jazz Album of the Year", Down Beat Readers Poll.
Swing Journal magazine Grand Prix Award (a gold record given for winning the Journal's Readers' and Critics' polls).

 After that Mouzon signed as a solo artist to the Blue Note label in 1972. He played with notorious musicians, recording great albuns. Three pearls of his discography are posted below:

Mind Transplant is the third album by American jazz drummer Alphonse Mouzon recorded in 1974 and released on the Blue Note label. The Allmusic review by Robert Taylor awarded the album 4½ stars stating "Raw and powerful, the music herein is what made fusion such a viable musical style... Easily one of the best fusion recordings of all time".

Alphonse Mouzon: drums, vocals, keys
Tommy Bolin: guitar
Jay Graydon: guitar
Lee Ritenour: guitar
Jerry Peters: keyboards
Henry Davis: bass
Rocke Grace: keyboards
Stanley Sheldon: bass

Alphonse Mouzon recorded this Jazz funk masterpiece in 1976 backed by an almost encyclopaedic cast of musicians. The Man incognito may refer to the appearance of George Duke under a pseudo name, whose funky keyboards is a highlight throughout.

Alphonse Mouzon - drums, percussion, vocals, synthesizer
Gary Grant - trumpet
George Bohanon - trombone
Ray Pizzi - tenor saxophone, alto saxophone
Tom Scott - tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, lyricon
David Benoit - piano, electric piano
Dave Grusin - piano, electric piano, clavinet
George Duke, Ian Underwood - synthesizer
David T. Walker - guitar (track 6)
Lee Ritenour - guitar, electric guitar
Tim DeHuff - electric guitar
Charles Meeks - electric bass
Emil Richards - cymbals, percussion
Victor Feldman - conga, bongo, percussion
Marty McCall, Jackie Ward, Caroline Willis - vocals

Megadrummer and percussionist Alphonse Mouzon recorded Virtue, his lone date for Germany's MPS, in 1976, and the label issued it in 1977. As far as fusion records go, these were not particularly good years, but Virtue is an example of the very best of what electric jazz had to offer at the time. Mouzon was half of a pair of drummers who defined the fusion era -- the other was Billy Cobham. 

The Band:
Alphonse Mouzon (drums, percussion, keyboards)
Gary Bartz (sax)
Stu Goldberg (acoustic & electric pianos, Mini Moog synthesizer )
Welton Gite (electric bass)

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. He currently resides in Northridge, California.

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