It seems as though half of the articles we write now are about fallen musicians or entertainers. The latest is Alphonse Mouzon, prolific jazz-fusion drummer, who died on Sunday, Dec. 25, at his home in Los Angeles. He was 68. He was an early member of the band Weather Report, collaborated with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and released much more music under his own name.
According to Mouzon's son, Pierre Mouzon, the drummer died of a cardiac arrest. He had been battling a rare form of cancer, neuroendocrine carcinoma since September according to the New York Times.
Mouzon was a pioneer in developing jazz-fusion. His work in the early stages of Weather Report, helping to record their debut album in 1971 and then going on be a charter member of the Eleventh House helped set the table for jazz-rock fusion.
He was a notable name in jazz, but also worked with artists such as Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Stevie Wonder. Jon Bonham of Led Zeppelin acknowledged Mouzon as an influence. Mouzon also released nearly two-dozen albums as the lead artist over a four-decade career.
He is being remembered by his peers and those who have been influenced by his drumming over the past few days.
If you were to ask #JohnBonham of LedZep who his drumming hero was. He'd no doubt declare the great #AlphonseMouzon the fairest of them all. And that is a correct statement. I can't even BEGIN to tell you of his influence on me drumming. Rest In Beats Alphonse!
A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on Dec 26, 2016 at 1:07pm PST
I'm hearing Alphonse Mouzon passed away today. He was on my interview wishlist for Red Bull. Damn man. — J-Zone (@jzonedonttweet) December 26, 2016
— Blue Note Jazz Club (@BlueNoteNYC) December 27, 2016
another hero gone in 2016.... RIP the mighty drummer Alphonse Mouzon... https://t.co/NxtkXCbLy3 — Gilles Peterson (@gillespeterson) December 27, 2016
— Dave Lombardo (@TheDaveLombardo) December 27, 2016
Just a few days left Please no more in 2016 RIP Alphonse Mouzon pic.twitter.com/uBOU17qNUT — Dianne Reeves (@DianneReeves1) December 26, 2016