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Alphonse Mouzon


ALPHONSE MOUZON (who is an African American mixed with French and Blackfoot Indian) was born November 21, 1948 in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended Bonds-Wilson High School where he received his early musical training under the direction of saxophonist Lonnie Hamilton III, and some drum lessons from Charles Garner. Following graduation from high school, he moved to New York to study music and drama at New York City College and medicine at Manhattan Medical School. MOUZON took drum lessons from jazz pianist Billy Taylor's drummer Bobby Thomas.

While attending college, Alphonse played in the pit band of the broadway show "PROMISES, PROMISES" after being recommended by Bobby Thomas. MOUZON also worked as a medical technologist at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital after graduating from Manhattan Medical School. However his medical career was short lived.
By 1969 his reputation as a player had spread to such an extent that a medical career was no longer attractive. By the early seventies, he had embarked upon a musical journey that would take him to almost every corner of the world and would establish his reputation as one the most creative musician of the era. In 1975 MOUZON studied acting at The Lee Strausberg Institute for Actors in Hollywood, California. In 1997 he studied acting with Susan Ricketts and in 1998 MOUZON studied advance voice-overs with Don Pitts at California State University of Northridge.

Several different drummers helped put jazz fusion on the map in the '70s. The one who seems to get most of the credit is Billy Cobham, but others, such as Alphonse Mouzon, contributed quite a bit to the cause as well. Born on November 21, 1948, in Charleston, SC, Mouzon got serious with his drumming in high school, where he studied with both a saxophonist and a drummer. Relocating to New York City in the late '60s to attend college, Mouzon had a hard time deciding between a career in music, drama, or medicine. Music wound up getting the nod by the dawn of the '70s, when Mouzon served as a session drummer on recordings by Tim Hardin (Bird on a Wire), Gil Evans (Gil Evans), Weather Report (Weather Report), Norman Connors (Dance of Magic), John Klemmer (Magic and Movement), and Teruo Nakamura (Unicorn). Mouzon also began issuing solo albums around this time, including such early releases as 1972's The Essence of Mystery and 1973's Funky Snakefoot. But Mouzon decided to take a momentary break from session work to concentrate on being a full-time member of Larry Coryell's Eleventh House, with whom he appeared on several releases with from 1974 through 1975 (Introducing Larry Coryell & the Eleventh House, At Montreux, Level One, etc.). Throughout it all though, Mouzon never stopped issuing solo albums on a regular basis, including arguably his finest solo release, 1974's Mind Transplant, which would have undoubtedly garnered more attention if it wasn't issued so close to Cobham's 1973 classic Spectrum. Mouzon has also collaborated with others from time to time (such as the release Trilogue Live!, credited to Albert Mangelsdorff, Jaco Pastorius, and Mouzon) as well as teamed up from time to time with his old friend Coryell (1977's Back Together Again and also a full Eleventh House reunion during the late '90s). Mouzon isn't limited to just fusion however, as he's proven his versatility by either recording with or performing alongside the likes of Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Patrick Moraz, Tommy Bolin, and Chubby Checker. Additionally, Mouzon has returned sporadically to his other love, acting, including a part alongside Tom Hanks in the 1996 film, That Thing You Do!, and also serves as chairman/CEO for his own record label, Tenacious Records. Mouzon continues to issue albums, and also tours Europe and the U.S. on a regular basis -- leading his own trio, quartet, or quintet.


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