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Drummer Alphonse Mouzon, 68, Dies in Los Angeles

Jazz and fusion great played with Weather Report, Eleventh House and many others

Alphonse Mouzon

Alphonse Mouzon, the dynamic, versatile drummer who played in Weather Report’s first incarnation and in Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House; recorded with Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Donald Byrd, Al Di Meola, Wayne Shorter and others; and enjoyed a wide-ranging career as a leader, died on Christmas Day at home in Los Angeles, according to the New York Times. He was 68 and was diagnosed with stage 3-4 neuroendocrine carcinoma, a rare cancer, in September. As reported in the Times, Mouzon suffered cardiac arrest.

Though he was recognized as a profound presence in the history of jazz-rock fusion, Mouzon played across jazz and pop’s stylistic spectrum-his early ’70s work with Tyner is nonpareil postbop-and thought of himself as a complete musician. “I don’t want to be stuck in one category, fusion,” he told JazzTimes in 2001. “I like all kinds of music. And whether I’m playing in a smooth-jazz, straight-ahead, fusion or R&B setting, I still play with intensity and energy.”

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