Alphonse Mouzon – The Essence Of Mystery (1973/2017) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/192kHz]

Alphonse Mouzon – The Essence Of Mystery (1973/2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz  | Time – 44:35 minutes | 1,64 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Blue Note Records
Recorded: A&R Recording Studio, NYC, December 13, 14 & 15, 1972

Following stints playing with Weather Report, McCoy Tyner and Wayne Shorter, drummer Alphonse Mouzon released this acclaimed debut album as leader in 1973. Long out of print, The Essence Of Mystery includes nine original songs performed by Mouzon and his band, consisting of Buddy Terry and Sonny Fortune on saxophones, Larry Willis on piano and bassists Buster Williams and Wilbur Bascomb Jr.

Several different drummers helped put jazz fusion on the map in the ’70s. The one who seems to get most of the credit is Billy Cobham, but others, such as Alphonse Mouzon, contributed quite a bit to the cause as well. Born on November 21, 1948, in Charleston, SC, Mouzon got serious with his drumming in high school, where he studied with both a saxophonist and a drummer. Relocating to New York City in the late ’60s to attend college, Mouzon had a hard time deciding between a career in music, drama, or medicine. Music wound up getting the nod by the dawn of the ’70s, when Mouzon served as a session drummer on recordings by Tim Hardin (Bird on a Wire), Gil Evans (Gil Evans), Weather Report (Weather Report), Norman Connors (Dance of Magic), John Klemmer (Magic and Movement), and Teruo Nakamura (Unicorn). Mouzon also began issuing solo albums around this time, including such early releases as 1972’s The Essence of Mystery and 1973’s Funky Snakefoot. But Mouzon decided to take a momentary break from session work to concentrate on being a full-time member of Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House, with whom he appeared on several releases with from 1974 through 1975 (Introducing Larry Coryell & the Eleventh House, At Montreux, Level One, etc.). Throughout it all though, Mouzon never stopped issuing solo albums on a regular basis, including arguably his finest solo release, 1974’s Mind Transplant, which would have undoubtedly garnered more attention if it wasn’t issued so close to Cobham’s 1973 classic Spectrum. Mouzon has also collaborated with others from time to time (such as the release Trilogue Live!, credited to Albert Mangelsdorff, Jaco Pastorius, and Mouzon) as well as teamed up from time to time with his old friend Coryell (1977’s Back Together Again and also a full Eleventh House reunion during the late ’90s). Mouzon isn’t limited to just fusion however, as he’s proven his versatility by either recording with or performing alongside the likes of Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, Patrick Moraz, Tommy Bolin, and Chubby Checker. Additionally, Mouzon has returned sporadically to his other love, acting, including a part alongside Tom Hanks in the 1996 film, That Thing You Do!, and also serves as chairman/CEO for his own record label, Tenacious Records. Mouzon continues to issue albums, and also tours Europe and the U.S. on a regular basis — leading his own trio, quartet, or quintet. -Greg Prato

1 The Essence Of Mystery 4:55
2 Funky Finger 3:40
3 Crying Angels 5:23
4 Why Can’t We Make It 3:27
5 Macrobian 5:14
6 Spring Water 6:27
7 Sunflower 4:27
8 Thank You Lord 4:02
9 Antonia 4:40

Alphonze Mouzon, drums, timpani, tabla, percussion, electric piano, clavinet, mellotron, vocals
Buddy Terry, soprano sax
Sonny Fortune, alto sax
Larry Willis, piano, electric piano
Buster Williams, bass
Wilbur Bascomb Jr., electric bass