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James Mtume is confirmed dead at the age of 76.

We all loved James Mtume more than they will ever know.
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'The world will miss James💔
What did James Mtume do?
James was best known as a American musician (Mtume) and songwriter ("Juicy Fruit".
How did James Mtume die?
James Mtume's death was likely due to unknown.
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James Mtume
Birth nameJames Forman
Also known asMtume
Born(1946-01-03)January 3, 1946
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
DiedJanuary 9, 2021(2021-01-09) (aged 75)
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • multi-instrumentalist
  • radio personality
  • record producer
InstrumentsVocals, percussionist, piano, keyboards, sampler, drums, guitar, bass guitar
Years active1961–present
Labels
Associated acts
James Forman (born January 3, 1946 - January 9, 2022), better known by his stage name James Mtume, was an American jazz and R&B musician, songwriter, record producer, activist and radio personality.
He came to prominence as a Jazz musician, working with Miles Davis between 1971 and 1975. Mtume's R&B group, also called Mtume, is best known for the 1983 R&B hit song "Juicy Fruit", which has been repeatedly sampled. Mtume the band also had a top-five R&B hit with the single "You, Me, and He".
Contents
1 Early life and career
2 Personal life
3 Discography
3.1 As leader
3.2 As sideman
4 Composer
5 References
6 External links
Early life and career
James Forman, born and raised in South Philadelphia. He is the son of jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath, however he was raised by his stepfather, a Philadelphia local jazz pianist, James "Hen Gates" Forman.
Mtume grew up in a musical environment with jazz musicians frequenting his parents' house. He learned to play piano and percussion; however, from his teenage years he was pursuing athletics as a swimmer, having achieved the title of the first black Middle Atlantic AAU champion in the backstroke, and in 1966 he entered Pasadena City College on a swimming scholarship.
In 1966, Mtume joined the US Organization, a Black empowerment group founded by Hakim Jamal and Maulana Karenga, while a student at Pasadena City College. Mtume received his name, which means "messenger" in Swahili, from Karenga who gave members of the organization names to match their personality traits. He was part of that group that celebrated the first Kwanzaa in 1966. In 1967 he co-edited The Quotable Karenga with Clyde Halisi, which has been called "the best expression of Karenga's ideas". Mtume left the US Organisation in 1969.
Mtume made two albums, Kawaida and Alekebulan: Land of the Blacks, intended to merge jazz and cultural identity. Kawaida, which was recorded in December 1969, was Mtume's professional debut. He contributed four out of five compositions and was credited with naming the album which means "norm" in Swahili and represented the practice and philosophy of pan-African identity. Performers on the album included Don Cherry, Herbie Hancock, Biily Bonner and his uncle Albert Heath.
After his return from the West Coast he moved to New York and had his first gigs as a sideman for McCoy Tyner (Asante album), Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis, whose group he wound up joining and playing in for the next few years.
He and Mtume band member, fellow musician Reggie Lucas both won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for writing and producing fellow R&B artist Stephanie Mills' top-ten hit "Never Knew Love Like This Before", for which she also won a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
He has also worked as a session musician with Players Association, and has done on-air radio personality work at New York City's KISS 98.7 FM. As a songwriter, Mtume has written hits for various artists such as Phyllis Hyman, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Stephanie Mills, R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, Teddy Pendergrass, Inner City, as well as being lead songwriter for his own band Mtume.
In July 2018, Mtume filed a lawsuit against Sony Music/Epic Records, hoping to reclaim the rights for two albums and his hit single "Juicy Fruit". Mtume claims to be the sole copyright of these recordings, while Sony insists that the albums were made for hire.
Personal life
He is the father of music producers Damu Mtume and Fa Mtume.
Discography
As leader
Alkebu-Lan: Land of The Blacks (Strata-East, 1972) - with Mtume Umoja Ensemble (Carlos Garnett - Tenor & Flute, Leroy Jenkins - Violin, Gary Bartz- Alto and Soprano Sax, Stanley Cowell - Piano, Buster Williams - Bass, Billy Hart - Drums, and Joe Lee Wilson, Eddie Micheaux, and Andy Bey - Vocals. Yusef Iman and Weusi Kuumba - Poets.
Rebirth Cycle (Third Street, 1977) - with Jean Carn, Stanley Cowell, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jimmy Heath, Cecil McBee, Leroy Jenkins, and Azar Lawrence.
Kiss This World Goodbye (Epic, 1978) - with Mtume
In Search of the Rainbow Seekers (Epic, 1980) - with Mtume
Juicy Fruit (Epic, 1983) - with Mtume
You, Me and He (Epic, 1984) - with Mtume
Theater of the Mind (Epic, 1986) - with Mtume
As sideman
With Gato Barbieri
Under Fire (Flying Dutchman, 1971 )
Bolivia (Flying Dutchman, 1973)
With Miles Davis
On the Corner (Columbia, 1972)
In Concert: Live at Philharmonic Hall (Columbia, 1973)
Big Fun (Columbia, 1974)
Get Up with It (Columbia, 1974)
Dark Magus (Columbia, 1974)
Agharta (Columbia, 1975)
Pangaea (Columbia, 1975)
The Complete On the Corner Sessions (Columbia, 2007)
Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4 (Columbia Legacy, 2015)
With Art Farmer
Homecoming (Mainstream, 1971)
With Carlos Garnett
Black Love (Muse, 1974)
With Jimmy Heath
The Gap Sealer (Muse, 1973)
The Time and the Place (Landmark, 1974 )
With Eddie Henderson
Heritage (Blue Note, 1976)
Comin' Through (Capitol, 1977)
Mahal (Capitol, 1978)
with Harold Land
A New Shade of Blue (Mainstream, 1971)
With Azar Lawrence
Bridge into the New Age (Prestige, 1974)
With Lonnie Liston Smith
Astral Traveling (Flying Dutchman, 1973)
With James Spaulding
James Spaulding Plays the Legacy of Duke Ellington (Storyville, 1977)
With McCoy Tyner
Asante (Blue Note, 1970)
Handscapes 2 (Strata-East, 1975)
With Buddy Terry
Awareness (Mainstream, 1971)
Pure Dynamite (Mainstream, 1972)
Composer
"The Closer I Get to You" written with Reggie Lucas. Performed by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway on Blue Lights in the Basement. Atlantic Records, 1977.
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