The prolific sticksman played with Carlos Santana and was sampled by the Beasties.

Questlove has paid tribute to Alphonse Mouzon, the jazz fusion drummer who played with Weather Report and Herbie Hancock, following his death on Sunday aged 68.

“If you were to ask #JohnBonham of Led Zep who his drumming hero was,” wrote the Roots drummer on Instagram, “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!”

Born in 1948 in Charleston, S.C., Mouzon got his big break when he joined the influential early jazz-fusion outfit Weather Report for their self-titled debut LP in 1971, playing alongside Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter and Miroslav Vitouš.

He left the band before the release of their second album, and went on to provide his signature funk backbeat for Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock, among many others. He was also a key member of another impactful jazz-rock outfit, the Eleventh House.

He later become the leader of a disco group called Poussez, notching up several club hits in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, including ‘Come On and Do It’ and ‘Boogie With Me’, and released over 20 albums of his own, including 1975’s jazz-funk touchstone Mind Transplant. ‘Funky Snakefoot’, the title track of his second album, provides the opening drum fill for the Beastie Boys’ ‘Shake Your Rump’.

Mouzon had been battling a rare form of neuroendocrine cancer. The cause of death was cardiac arrest, according to his son Jean-Pierre Mouzon, as the New York Times reports. [via Pitchfork]

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