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Alphonse Mouzon biography
Alphonse Lee Mouzon - November 21, 1948 (Charleston, USA) - December 26, 2016

Alphonse MOUZON is one of the premier drummers of the classic fusion era that began in the 1960's and continued through the seventies.

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, MOUZON first studied music at Bonds-Wilson High School. After graduation, he moved to New York City, where his studies included both drama and medicine. All the while he studied drumming with jazz pianist Billy TAYLOR's drummer, Bobby Thomas.

Soon, MOUZON was playing with McCoy TYNER, and went on to perform with WEATHER REPORT. In 1973, he gained prominence when he joined Larry CORYELL's ELEVENTH HOUSE, which became one of the foremost fusion groups of their day, along with RETURN TO FOREVER and THE MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA.

All the while, MOUZON was releasing his own albums, and has performed with jazz and fusion greats like Herbie HANCOCK, Lee RITENOUR, Freddie HUBBARD, Gil EVANS, Al DI MEOLA and even Miles DAVID himself. He has also played with Stevie WONDER, Eric CLAPTON, Jeff BECK and Patrick MORAZ, to name just a few rock musicians.

These days MOUZON spends his time running Tenacious Records, and still composes, arrages and produces his music.

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ALPHONSE MOUZON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 9 ratings
The Essence Of Mystery
3.33 | 6 ratings
Funky Snakefoot
4.06 | 28 ratings
Mind Transplant
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Man Incognito
3.81 | 7 ratings
4.00 | 3 ratings
In Search Of A Dream
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mouzon's Electric Band: Baby Come Back
4.00 | 2 ratings
By All Means

ALPHONSE MOUZON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ALPHONSE MOUZON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ALPHONSE MOUZON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ALPHONSE MOUZON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Essence Of Mystery by MOUZON, ALPHONSE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.86 | 9 ratings

The Essence Of Mystery
Alphonse Mouzon Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Yeah I'm giving this 4 stars despite the two commercial tracks on here with female vocals. The rest is gravy as the say and I actually don't mind "Funky Finger" and "Why Can't We Make It?" too much, at least they are the two shortest tracks on here. I would rather have a consistent album though then one with highs and lows, that's just me but this is an exception for sure. Mouzon has brought in two bass players including Buster Williams. Two sax players including Sonny Fortune. Larry Willis on electric piano but for me it's surprising to hear this amazing drummer also play mellotron, clavinet, electric piano and he is the composer. A talented man who has played with pretty much everyone. "The Essence Of Mystery" was released in 1973 and is Alphonse's first solo album. Check out "Mind Transplant" as well for two of his very best records.

Top five includes the self titled opener and this is my favourite. Oh man it's pretty much perfect and in my opinion the best track he's ever released on a solo album. It's the mellotron that creates atmosphere and the electric piano that seems to echo as it trips along. Reminds me of Miles during this time period. Sax comes in over top but will give way to the electric piano before returning later.

"Crying Angels" like the opener is trippy and atmospheric with electric piano, bass and drums as the sax then joins in. The drums become the focus before 1 1/2 minutes and it becomes more uptempo. Sax is back and everyone else, just not the atmosphere. Electric piano and sax take turns soloing over top. More mellotron on "Macrobian" but we get strings this time out of that mellotron. The drum intro is impressive. Electric piano comes out of that with bass and sax in tow followed by mellotron. Again the sax and electric piano takes turns leading. "Sunflower" is pretty cool for all the beats and percussions and the electric piano and sax help out as well. The closer makes my final top five and Alphonse puts on a show for us early on.

Man take out the two commercial tracks and this could have been something very special but as it is I'm so glad I own this one.

 Virtue by MOUZON, ALPHONSE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.81 | 7 ratings

Alphonse Mouzon Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars That is the first album by Alphonse Mouzon I've acquired, a Japanese edition on the CD and I've never regretted it. As an open music fan, I don't mind stylistic uneven tracks ranging from very good jazz-funk to ferocious fusion and drum soloing. More than 50% of the music here is essential for any fusion fan, notably "Baker's daughter", "Nyctophobia" and "Virtue" followed by some ambitious and experimental parts from the "Mouzon Drum Suite". Fusion ballad "Come into my life" is very accessible but well played with lush keyboards and melodies. The suite is quite naturally inspired by rhythms, more specifically African. All musicians show extraordinary playing abilities, I like Stu Goldberg' fast soloing particularly but devastating bass in Virtue and Nyctophobia need to be highlighted too. "Nyctophobia" actually comes from the 11th House times but the version is nothing short of wonder. Absolutely blitz- speeding rhythms team with bass and breathtaking keyboard and saxophone soloing. This is one of the fastest pieces that fusion can offer (check live version of Malaga Virgen from Brand X for another candidate). Though more commercial and accessible music was starting to sneak into Mouzon's music, this is first and foremost a jazz fusion record and composed/executed damn well.
 Mind Transplant by MOUZON, ALPHONSE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.06 | 28 ratings

Mind Transplant
Alphonse Mouzon Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars While I wouldn't include this in the greats of Jazz/ Fusion albums I own this was really satisfying. Most feel this is Alphonse's best solo album following his being part of Larry Coryell's ELEVENTH HOUSE and WEATHER REPORT the guy can really impress on that drum kit. Cool that he brought in Tommy Bolin as the main guitarist although it's surprising that this six piece band has three of them in total. Not a guitar album really but it's certainly the lead instrument most of the time. Alphonse also plays farfisa organ, synths and electric piano here surprisingly. Released in 1975 I get a kick out of the pictures of the guys in platform shoes and bell bottoms. Reminds me of my last years in elementary school and first years in high school.

"Mind Transplant" is a top four track with that nice drum intro as bass and electric piano join in quickly followed by guitar which takes over for the electric piano although the latter will be back later. I like the depth of sound a minute in. Synths before 2 minutes and the electric piano is back after 3 minutes as the intensity continues to the end. Nice start. "Snow Bound" is my least favourite but still good, in fact I was lying in bed this morning with this melody in my head. Crazy! The guitar from Bolin is a nice touch helping this track to be somewhat enjoyable.

"Carbon Dioxide" has so much energy to start with the guitar and drums then it settles beautifully before a minute with synths and more. Great sound here and oh this is a top four track for me as well. Check it out before 1 1/2 minutes as the guitar and drums put on a show and I like the melancholic vibe here. "Ascorbic Acid" has a cool drum intro as guitar, electric piano and more kick in after 30 seconds. Some outbursts of sound that come and go that I'm not into and they will end the song too but this is a good one.

"Happiness Is Loving You" is one I liked from the first listen. A feel good, chilled number with some nice guitar over top. "Some Of The Things People Do" is the only vocal and track and the guy can sing. Sure it's somewhat dated but man I was bouncing around to this every time it was on. Could have been a single in my opinion. "Golden Rainbows" is the longest one at almost 7 minutes and a top four. I just like the vibe to this mid paced beauty. Samples of a storm are cool that go on for some time. Some intensity after 2 1/2 minutes and Tommy lights it up a minute later.

"Nitroglycerin" is the closer and the final top four. Guitar and drums impress as usual in this energetic send off. I like the Fender Rhodes too but Alphonse's drum work takes the cake. Check out the guitar before 1 1/2 minutes as Bolin rips it up but Mouzon is on a mission here. So yeah well worth tracking down for Jazz/ Fusion fans. This one grooves pretty good and there's plenty of energy. A solid 4 stars.

 Mind Transplant by MOUZON, ALPHONSE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.06 | 28 ratings

Mind Transplant
Alphonse Mouzon Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars So many great jazz-rock drummers out there in Progland, luminaries like Billy Cobham, Lenny White, Peter Erskine, Jack DeJohnette, Tony Williams, Vinnie Colaiuta and Michael Walden, all made quite a name for themselves in a wide variety of sessions. There are some equally brilliant ones who are, sadly not quite as famous, such as Rayford Griffin (Ponty), Leon Chancler (Santana) and Chester Thompson (Ponty, Genesis). Which brings us to Alphonse Mouzon, a hyperactive drummer who should easily qualify to thump with the legends. His sensational technical display and furious passion are fully developed on this magical recording, a delightful coalition of instrumentalists helping him achieve the perfect groove. He would eventually carve out quite a reputation with Larry Coryell's 11th House, Roberta Flack and Al Di Meola. Guitarists Tommy Bolin, Jay Graydon and Lee Ritenour are into the mood, keyboardist Jerry Peters adding his jazz vibe and bassist Henry Davis keeping things nicely fastened and bolted. I found myself focused on Mouzon's incredible technique throughout the set list, after all, it's his solo outing and he is certainly not timid nor shy.

The eight tracks presented here are relatively short, precise and often hyperactive slices of jazz-funk-rock that explodes with resounding effect. From the opening title track, the intense suggestion is both swift and dynamic, showing off Mouzon's blistering technique and leading the crew into electric rocking horizons. Tingling and vocoder effects on the guitars from Bolin makes the grade while Henry Davis does great things to his bass guitar on 'Snow Bound', a singular display of choppy control, organized chaos and creativity. On the aptly named 'Carbon Dioxide', the mood varies between harsher expanses and softer climes, a definite showcase for Tommy Bolin to rip it up, muscled by a divine bass run and Mouzon's supersonic drumming, easily recalling Cobham's burly delivery. Peters flourishes on organ, adding more punch to the fury. A track that could have gone on for another ten minutes, at the rate they were going (cough, cough)!

Drum solo intro time on 'Ascorbic Acid' and what a powerhouse this one is, the relentlessly impatient burp of the bass egging the players closer to a razor edge, dignified by a pair of tortuous guitar solos that has speed, hysteria, sizzle and substance. Both Graydon and Ritenour duel mercilessly, each a thorough 'in the zone' blast. The much- maligned Ritenour also shines on the next two tunes, the lovely 'Happiness is Loving You', for this is a respected axe man who could have made a greater name for himself then just a gifted session man. Big surprise on the choppy funk tune of 'Some of the Things People Do'. Similar to Dr. John's 'In the Right Place', this is more of a vocal driven funk number that has a nice Southern feel with Ritenour's slinky rhythm work and slippery leads pushing the surprisingly adept Mouzon vocals into the spotlight.

Highlight track unquestionably, 'Golden Rainbows' is quite the rhythmic oasis, giving a bubbly groove that is unshakeable and resolute, thus providing the platform for some serious soloing, a slower-paced steam roller that forges forward bold and confident, with perfectly positioned keys, bass and that powerful drum beat. Bolin takes it over with perhaps some of his best work, in a gritty, talkative style that emotes very obviously and hints at some Hendrixian notions of sustained bluesy notes, lush with sweat and brawn. World class track, period, worth the price of admission. Counter that with the masterful 'Nitroglycerin' , a perfect description for the detonation on display here, a blistering musical racer that careens down the sonic highway with a no-holds-barred, 'pedal to the metal' mad dash to some imaginary checkered flag. Bolin and Mouzon are simply terrifying at surpassing the level of notes and beats thrashing about, seemingly effortlessly. Short, sweet and sick.

Definitely a must for fans of the artists presented above, guitar god aficionados as well as drumming students looking for heroes. This album sits nicely among my many jazz-rock gems.

4 Awareness uproots

Thanks to evolver for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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