All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

3

Alphonse Mouzon: In Search Of A Dream

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
2018 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the distinguished German jazz label MPS. To mark the occasion, the label's catalogue of over 400 albums has been released on download, and a vinyl and CD remastering and reissue programme has begun. Alphonse Mouzon's In Search Of A Dream is among the first of these discs. Originally released in 1978, it was the fourth—and finest—jazz-rock set the drummer recorded for the label.

During the 1970s, his first decade on record, Mouzon moved effortlessly between acoustic jazz, jazz-funk and jazz-rock. He recorded frequently with McCoy Tyner's acoustic bands on the Milestone label in early and mid decade, while simultaneously making a series of jazz-funk albums under his own name for Blue Note. He is probably best remembered for his jazz-rock outings, however, partly for his work with Larry Coryell, but mostly for his role as a founding member of Weather Report—despite being a member of the band for little over a year and appearing on just one album, Weather Report (CBS, 1971).

There are echoes of mid-1970s Weather Report on In Search Of A Dream, although its arrangements are simpler than Joe Zawinul's, and the degree of post-production much reduced. Part of the resemblance is due to the presence alongside Mouzon of bassist Miroslav Vitous, another Weather Report founding member. Five of the nine tunes were written by Mouzon, two by Vitous, and Weather Report tropes pepper most of them. The references may have been deliberate. Producer Joachim-Ernst Berendt, who died in 2000, suggested that the album was conceived as a tribute to the band.

The other members of the group were never members of Weather Report, but each was to some extent influenced by it. Keyboard player Stu Goldberg had played with fellow-travelling Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1975. Tenor saxophonist Bob Malik often sounds like a ramped up Ben Webster, but his tone is closer to Wayne Shorter's. Guitarist Philip Catherine and keyboard player Joachim Kuhn have more explicitly European sensibilities, but the US group's albums will have been familiar to them.

Given that Mouzon and Vitous are the star members of the band—and that one of them is well known for having an ego the size of a watermelon—it is surprising, but a blessing, that there is a near-complete absence of drum and bass solos on the album. Drummer and bassist are both prominent in the music, but Mouzon only solos on two tracks and Vitous on one. Most of the tracks are largely through-composed ensemble pieces. Some are raucous, others are more reflective. Kuhn's only tune is a lovely acoustic ballad on which he and Malik shine brightly.

The only downer on the set is the closer, "Nothing But A Party," which, as with hindsight the title hints, gets perilously close to disco. But hey, eight winners out of nine runners is a solid score, and anyone who enjoys Weather Report is likely to enjoy In Search Of A Dream too.

Track Listing: Side One: Nightmare; Electric Moon; Shoreline; The Light. Side Two: The Unknown Journey; The Ram And The Scorpio; In Search Of A Dream; Playing Between The Beat; Nothing But A Party.

Personnel: Alphonse Mouzon: drums (1-9), organ (1), electric piano (5, 9), percussion (5), voice (8); Miroslav Vitous: electric bass (1, 3, 5-7, 9), acoustic bass (3, 4), Mini Moog (4), electric piano (4); Philip Catherine: electric guitar (1, 6, 7, 9), 12-string acoustic guitar (2, 5); Stu Goldberg: electric piano (6, 7), acoustic piano (2); Joachim Kuhn: electric piano (1, 2), acoustic piano (1, 3); Bob Malik: tenor saxophone (2, 3, 5, 7,9).

Title: In Search Of A Dream | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: MPS

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
ANGEL FACE

ANGEL FACE

Tenacious Records
2011

buy
THE MAIN ATTRACTION

THE MAIN ATTRACTION

Tenacious Records
2010

buy
Virtue

Virtue

Promising Music/MPS
2009

buy
JAZZ IN BEL-AIR

JAZZ IN BEL-AIR

Tenacious Records
2008

buy
LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD

LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD

Tenacious Records
2001

buy

Related Articles

Read Pendulum CD/LP/Track Review
Pendulum
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 21, 2018
Read Flow Vertical CD/LP/Track Review
Flow Vertical
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 21, 2018
Read Bonafide CD/LP/Track Review
Bonafide
by Geannine Reid
Published: November 21, 2018
Read Christian McBride's New Jawn CD/LP/Track Review
Christian McBride's New Jawn
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 21, 2018
Read Bonafide CD/LP/Track Review
Bonafide
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 21, 2018
Read The Sky Above Her CD/LP/Track Review
The Sky Above Her
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 20, 2018
Read "Out in the Open" CD/LP/Track Review Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read "The Out Louds" CD/LP/Track Review The Out Louds
by Don Phipps
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "The Lady In the Gown" CD/LP/Track Review The Lady In the Gown
by Geannine Reid
Published: November 9, 2018
Read "Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic Delights" CD/LP/Track Review Technicolor Paradise: Rhum Rhapsodies & Other Exotic...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 30, 2018
Read "Roadwork 1/Roadwork2/Homework1 (Box Set)" CD/LP/Track Review Roadwork 1/Roadwork2/Homework1 (Box Set)
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 29, 2018
Read "The Haywain" CD/LP/Track Review The Haywain
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 28, 2018