Death of jazz pioneer, 76

Death of jazz pioneer, 76


norman lebrecht

January 10, 2022

The jazzman James Mtume, a Miles Davis band member who produced his own records and unsuccessully sued Sony for rights, has died suddenly at 76.

The son of saxophonist Jimmy Heath, he grew up in Philadelphia, joined a Black Power group and made two outstanding albums, Kawaida and Alekebulan: Land of the Blacks, while writing and producing tracks for many leading artists.


  • EagleArts says:

    Just one of Mr. Mtume’s songs:

    “Never Knew Love Like This Before” is a 1980 song written and produced by songwriters James Mtume and Reggie Lucas for American R&B recording artist Stephanie Mills’ fourth studio album Sweet Sensation (1980).

    “The record won Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 1981 Grammy Awards, vanquishing competition that included Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, and Minnie Riperton.”

    It’s a great record, put it on!

  • Larry says:

    Sad news. BTW, there were three great Heath brothers who were jazz artists: Jimmy (saxophone); Percy (bass); Albert (drums.)

    Reminds me of the three great Jones brothers: Thad (trumpet); Hank (piano); Elvin (Jones.)