Photo: Alphone Mouzon | © Guido Nardi/ Flickr.
Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!
The next show will air on Tuesday July 2, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will memorialize Chairman/CEO of Tenacious Records, composer, arranger, producer, drummer, multi-instrumentalist and actor Alphonse Mouzon.
Alphonse Mouzon (who was an African American mixed with French and Blackfoot Indian) was born on November 21st in Charleston, South Carolina. He attended Bonds-Wilson High School where he received his early musical training under the direction of saxophonist high school music teacher Lonnie Hamilton III, and took some drum lessons from Charles Garner before playing gigs with the Lonnie Hamilton Band. 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.
Alphonse 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. Mouzon and Coryell continued to tour together in a trio and with the Eleventh House.
Alphonse Mouzon’s name can be found in just about every Jazz Encyclopedia/ Dictionary, and is listed the 2nd edition of Marquis Who’s Who In Entertainment and Who’s Who In The World. MOUZON was voted the #2 BEST MULTI-INSTRUMENTALIST in the 1995 Jazziz Magazine Annual Readers Poll.
As it was stated at his website: “Alphonse is a Christian and always has been a believer in Christ and the Almighty, Omnipotent God! Mouzon was a Prostate Cancer survivor who recommends that every man over 35 years old have a PSA blood test done to make sure cancer is not present. Early detection is a lifesaver!”
Alphonse Mouzon left the Earth on December 25, 2016.
(Bio excerpted and adapted from All About Jazz.)
This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
Watch Mouzon and the legendary bassist Jaco Pastorious in this live clip.
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman College in the City University of New York system.