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James Mtume – Jazz Percussionist and Political Activist


James Mtume passed away on October 23, 2013. He was both a jazz musician from America and a prominent political activist. James Forman was his professional name, although he was known also as Mtume. He was well-known for his R&B and jazz music.

Jazz and R&B are the pioneers

James Mtume is an American jazz pioneer. In Philadelphia, Mtume was born on September 16, 1946. His mother was Bertha Forman and his father was Jimmy Heath. His 1966 athletic scholarship was granted to him by Pasadena City College. He moved to New York after completing his degree to follow a career as a musician.

As a teenager, Mtume became a prolific swimmer. He landed his first job when he turned 21. At the age of 25, he started playing in Greenwich Village bars.

Mtume, a musician, and songwriter had a long and successful career. His hits included songs by Mary J. Blige, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. Most famous is the R&B song “Juicy Fruit”, which is still a hit. His songs were also recorded for other artists.

Mtume worked alongside jazz and R&B icons, but he also traveled the world. His albums include Miles Davis’ On the Corner, Herbie Hancock’s Live at Carnegie Hall and Dizzy Gilespie’s Live at the Village Vanguard.

Grammy-winning percussionist

James Mtume was 76 years old when he died. Mtume was a percussionist and pianist and he also produced records. He is an important figure in R&B and jazz in the 1970s. Mtume has also been a part of many other famous bands.

Mtume recorded more than 80 albums, was part of Miles Davis’, Miles Davis’, Dizzy Gillespie’s, Lonnie Smith’s and Sonny Rollins’ bands. Mtume also wrote songs for Roberta Flack and Mary J. Blige. One of Mtume’s most famous songs, “Juicy Fruit,” was sampled by the Notorious B.I.G. Their hit song “Juicy”

Mtume was a percussionist in the band Freddie Hubbard’s early 70’s. He moved to New York City after five years. He collaborated, among other things, with Reggie Lucas and R. Kelly.

Mtume was a member of Mtume’s own band in late 1970s. Its music is described as “Sophistifunk,” which was a blend of jazz, hip hop, and R&B. In Search of the Rainbow Seekers and Kiss the World Goodbye were released by the group in 1978, respectively.

The Quotable Karenga co-editor

James Mtume was an innovator in R&B and has died at the age 76. Aside from his musical accomplishments, he was also an activist. Many of his contemporaries as well as his family will remember him.

The singer-songwriter was born on January 3, 1946 in Philadelphia. The son of a musical family, he grew up. When he was young, he began learning to play piano and percussion. Swimming was something he pursued as a teenager. During his college years, he received a scholarship to study at Pasadena City College.

As a musician, Mtume worked with a variety of jazz greats, including Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis. In addition, he co-wrote songs with Roberta Flack, Stephanie Mills, and R. Kelly. Besides his career as a singer and songwriter, he is known for his work as a producer.

In 1970, he joined Miles Davis’s band. Later, he toured for five more years with the band. During this time, Mtume was credited with reorienting the rhythms of some of Davis’ later albums. Mtume formed Mtume after that.

Political activist

James Mtume (jazz percussionist), radio personality, writer, and politician was James Mtume. Mtume is well known for his contributions to the music business. Mtume’s social consciousness was also reflected in his writing, speaking, and participation in Black Power.

His jazz music was influential. He played with major musicians. Miles Davis was one of his musical inspirations. Sonny Rollins and Herbie Hanscock were another. He is best known for his albums “The Theater of the Mind”, and “Kiss This World Goodbye”.

His musical career ended and he joined the Black Power Movement. His work also included public housing and the justice system. This is why he won the Amateur Athletic Union first backstroke title.

A political activist, he co-convened the Third National Black Political Convention. He was the editor of The Quotable Karenga.

Mtume co-hosted the “Open Line” talk show before retiring from music. It was aired by New York station WRKS. It focused on politics, culture and dissecting them. Bob Pickett, Bob Slade (among others) joined him.