Alphonse Mouzon

The Night is Still Young

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Alphonse Mouzon is among the most celebrated of all modern jazz drummers, with stints with Weather Report and McCoy Tyner rounding out a sweeping resume encompassing all styles. His most recent works were easy to chide based on their fluffy approach to pop simplicity, but he will face no such flack for The Night is Still Young, a look back into jazz traditions and forward towards its funkier radio friendly leanings. It's as if Mouzon took stock of his career and presented arguments for why every aspect--from melodic soul to traditional bop--was important at a particular time. After some wonderfully arranged odes to his newborn baby daughter with smoky trumpeter Sal Marquez and jack of all styles saxmen Ernie Watts, Ralph Moore and Eric Marienthal, the multi-instrumentalist recruits Gerald Albright for some new jack modern excitement. Some of the time, Mouzon really lets his multitude of chops fly, playing all the instruments himself, as on the travelogues to Brazil and Africa. In the midst of it all is a brief all-drums interlude which gives us a glimpse of the bread and butter upon which his entire career is based. Musical autobiographies don't get much more inspiring than this.

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