Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Mouzon, Alphonse

Mouzon, Alphonse, drummer, composer, producer, actor, also wind instruments; b. Charleston, SC, 21 November 1948. Mouzon is an African American mixed with French and Blackfoot Indian. His mother's name is Emma Mouzon. His father's name is Flagner Mouzon. His older brother is Simon Washington Mouzon; sisters are Mary, Lillie Mae, Cherry and Elvena. His half-sisters on his father's side are Michelle and Zora Mae. They  all were born in Charleston, S.C.

Mouzon 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. Mouzon's musical associations read like a veritable Who's Who of Modern Jazz and Pop Music. His talents cover a broad range of musical disciplines and philosophies. He was the rhythmic foundation for the far-reaching musical explorations of pianist McCoy Tyner. He was a charter member along with keyboardist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, of the group Weather Report. Along with guitarist Larry Coryell, MOUZON was co-founder of The Eleventh House, the seminal fusion band of the seventies. The Larry Coryell's Eleventh House reunited after 25 years in July 1998 and toured all over the world featuring Alphonse Mouzon until December 12, 1999. Mouzon has also played and/or recorded with Gil Evans, Roy Ayers, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Clarke, Al DiMeola, Les McCann, Ronnie Laws, Klaus Doldinger's Passport, Jaco Pastorius, Ron Carter, Nathan East, Cecil McBee, Albert Mangelsdorff, Joachim Kuhn, Jasper van't Hof, Michel Legrand, Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Donald Bird, Chet Baker, Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Ernie Watts, Sonny Rollins, Wallace Roney, Arturo Sandoval, Christian McBride, Kenny Barron, Cedar Walton, George Coleman, John Klemmer, Billy Harper, Dave Grusin, Russ Freeman, George Howard, Kirk Whalum,  Jeff Lorber, Kenny G., Joanne Brackeen, Horace Parlan, Robin Kenyatta, Ross Carnegie Orchestra, Roberta Flack, Gloria Lynn, Gloria Coleman, Denise Williams, Freda Payne, Shirley Scott, Anita O'Day, Betty Davis, and in 1991, he performed with Miles Davis on the movie soundtrack album entitled "Dingo". Miles Davis even spoke hig hly of Mouzon in his book entitled "Miles - The Autobiography". Mouzon has also played with and helped the early careers of Lee Ritenour, David Beniot, Gerald Albright, Sam Riney, Brandon Fields, Greg Karukas, Dave Koz, and Richard Elliot. Mouzon's rock/pop credentials include gigs with no less respectable a crew than Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Patrick Moraz, Tommy Bolin and Chubby Checker. Robert Plant, lead singer for the legendary rock group Led Zeppelin, named Mouzon, during his acceptance speech for induction into the 1995 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, one of the band's major influences. Besides radio, MOUZON's music has been aired on CBS, NBC and ABC's Daytime Television Soap Operas - "All My Children", "Another World", "As The World Turns", "Days Of Our Lives", "One Life To Live", "Loving", "General Hospital", "Generations", "Santa Barabara", "The Guiding Light", "Sunset Beach", "Passions", CBS Sports, "Life Styles Of The Rich And Famous", "Runaway With The Rich And Famous", "Leeza", "Hard Copy", "Entertainment Tonight", and many more. Mouzon was voted the #2 Best Multi-Instrumentalist in the 1995 Jazziz Magazine Annual Readers Poll. In 1992, Mouzon formed Tenacious Records and in 1992, released his Top Ten CD entitled "The Survivor." Subsequent releases on Tenacious Records "On Top Of The World", "Early Spring", "By All Means", "Love Fantasy", "Back To Jazz", "As You Wish", "The Night Is Still Young", "The Sky Is The Limit", "Distant Lover",  "Morning Sun", and  "Absolute Greatest Love Songs & Ballads" were number one, top ten, or top twenty CDs. "Live In Hollywood " is the latest CD from Mouzon.

On August 14, 1994, Mouzon married his second and last wife Allison Talley, whom he met in June of 1993 while playing at the now defunct Baked Potato Club in Pasadena. After more than fifteen years working as an accountant, Allison decided to return to college to get her degrees in Accounting and Finance. Allison, who was an honor student and member of Beta Alpha Psi (honors accounting fraternity), graduated from California State University of Northridge in June 2000.  In September 2000, Allison joined American Express Tax and Business Services.  In October 2000, Allison sat for all four parts of the CPA exam and passed with an average score of 92.  On average, only 5% of the nation's candidates pass all four parts in one sitting. Since 75 is a passing score, Allison's high test scores place her amongst the elite of the CPA candidates. In 2002, Allison received her CPA License and joined HELD Properties as a Controller and the head of their Acco untant Department. Allison is also Tenacious Records' CFO and Controller. Mouzon lives with his wife Allison, 6-year-old actress/model daughter Emma Alexandra, and his oldest son Alphonse-Philippe, along with their pet parrot Mafia, Cuddly the hamster, two pet rats named Tom and Jerry, and three hermit tree crabs named Rocky, Rose and Sunflower. Emma Alexandra has starred and co-starred in three musicals for A Cast of Kids Children Theatre. She sings, dances (tap, jazz & ballet) and plays the piano and drums. Alphonse-Philippe (who also plays alto sax, drums, vibes and piano) had a speaking role in the Mel Gibson and Danny Glover hit movie "Lethal Weapon" when he was only six years old. He also starred in a Nintendo commercial, and was a guest performer on Pee Wee's Playhouse. Alphonse Philippe also worked on a music video for singer Barry White.  In 2000, he was in a TV  Movie of the Week called "Sharing The Secret" starring Mary Crosby and Dianne Ladd. At present, Alphonse Philippe is at Valley Col lege studying to be a film director/film producer and will major in TV/Film at CSUN in the fall of 2002.. Alphonse-Philippe is also is a cameraman/videotape editor at Channel 36. Mouzon and Alphonse Philippe are members of the Screen Actors Guild.  Alphonse-Philippe and Jean-Pierre have performed with Mouzon at The Long Beach Jazz Festival, and the Los Angeles Forum playing percussion. Jean-Pierre, the younger son, is living and going to college in Oxnard, CA. At present, Mouzon performs in Europe and in the U.S. with his trio, quartet, or quintet and as a featured guest artist with other groups.  He is currently producing music for his next five CDs, entitled "Smooth As Silk", "Angel Face", "Live At The Baked Potato", "High Noon", "Live In Bel Air" on Tenacious Records. Mouzon's trumpet, flute and alto sax playing will be featured on some of these upcoming studio releases. See Mouzon along with actor Tom Hanks in the film "That Thing You Do ". Alphonse is acting and playing drums in the film. He also composed the music score for the Blue Spot jazz club scene, in which he plays a smoking drums solo. The acoustic piano melody and solo on "Blue Spot" were also performed (off camera) by Alphonse Mouzon. Mouzon is a born again Christian and his motto is "Veracity and Integrity are Virtues."

Contact Information:
http://www.tenaciousrecords.com
alphonse@tenaciousrecords.com

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