James Mtume has died. The 76-year-old Grammy Award winner recently passed away.
James got his start in jazz in the early 1970s. As a multi-instrumentalist, he played with everyone from Miles Davis to Gato Barbieri. But it was his foray into R&B that made him famous. He and his frequent production and songwriting partner, the late Reggie Lucas, did “Never Knew Love Like This Before” for Stephanie Mills, which earned him a Grammy. They were also responsible for “The Closer I Get to You” Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.
In the 1980s, James formed his own group with Tawatha Agee. Mtume’s biggest hit was “Juicy Fruit” in 1983. Later, he served as the music supervisor for Fox’s police drama, “New York Undercover.” The show, which ran from 1994 to 1999 and starred Malik Yoba, featured every prominent artist from that era, from Mary J Blige and R Kelly to The Notorious B.I.G and MC Lyte.
- Mtume, in his later years, became a frequent public speaker, and hosted a popular radio show in New York that touched on important issues of the day.
Source: Soul Tracks