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Alphonse Mouzon

Alphonse Mouzon

Nearly 30 years and several pounds ago, drummer Alphonse Mouzon was the hottest, slickest, stylingest mack daddy on the early fusion scene. On the fashion tip, who could forget those floor-length fur coats, outrageous hats and audacious platform shoes that he sported with Larry Coryell & The Eleventh House in the mid-’70s. And few could deny the sheer power of his frenetic drumming, whether it was in the service of Roy Ayers (1970-1971), Weather Report (1971-1972), McCoy Tyner (1972) or The Eleventh House (1973-1975).

While both his slinky frame and super-fly fashion sense are now ancient history, Mouzon is still supplying plenty of signature sizzle behind the kit, as he so forcefully demonstrates on Live in Hollywood (Tenacious). A document of one smokin’ night with his working quintet at the now-defunct Baked Potato, it features strong ensemble playing and solo contributions from Sal Marquez on trumpet, Chuck Manning on tenor sax, David Goldblatt on acoustic piano and Dave Enos on acoustic bass. But through the indomitable force of his dynamic presence on the kit, Mouzon is the real star here.

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