Alphonse Mouzon: Baker's Daughter


Baker's Daughter


Alphonse Mouzon (drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals)


Virtue (MPS 15498)

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Alphonse Mouzon (drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals), Gary Bartz (sax), Stu Goldberg (acoustic piano, Mini Moog synthesizer),

Welton Gite (electric bass)


Composed by Alphonse Mouzon


Recorded: Stuttgart, Germany, November 1976


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

It cannot be argued that Alphonse Mouzon was not among a handful of pioneering jazz-rock drummers. Trailblazing wise, Mouzon belongs in the same class as Tony Williams, Billy Cobham and Lenny White. He played a large role in the early days of fusion, holding down the drum stool for one of the finest jazz-fusion bands of the day: Larry Coryell's Eleventh House. Mouzon is a powerfully propulsive drummer who can really kick things into gear.

Many people don't like too much sugar in their coffee. I can't relate to that because I don't drink coffee. But I can say I don't like too much funk in my fusion. Sometimes I believe Alphonse Mouzon overfunks it. For that reason, after one listening, I already skip the album's first cut "Master Funk." This is my subjective listening opinion. But some people like their coffee with extra sugar. I am in no position to stop them. All I can say is that there are four outstanding tunes on the new MPS CD reissue of 1976's Virtue that you should definitely drink. Among them is "Baker's Daughter."

For this excursion, Mouzon is joined by gifted saxophonist Gary Bartz, fellow fusion pioneer keyboardist Stu Goldberg, and noted bassist Welton Gite. A rather spatial introduction is presented, with Bartz playing a slow melody above it all. Mouzon, Goldberg and Gite add colors and textures. Then it is time to up the ante. A few heavy strikes from Mouzon jumpstart Gite's rolling bassline, and we are off. The driving piece first features a Bartz solo. Goldberg enters on acoustic piano to carry on the momentum. Mouzon and Gite furiously back the proceedings. "Baker's Daughter" is an aggressive performance that boasts both a top-notch Mouzon composition and some quality players who know how to squeeze every last ounce of feeling and power out it. Put that in your coffee and drink it.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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