James Mtume, jazz musician and founder of group Mtume, dead at 75

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James Mtume, jazz musician and founder of group Mtume, dead at 75 Photo courtesy of Pixnio

article ulli { list-style: disc; padding: 5px 0; }Jan. 10 (UPI) -- James Mtume, a pioneer of jazz and R&B who founded the jazz, funk and R&B hybrid band Mtume, has died at the age of 75.

James Mtume's son Faulu Mtume confirmed his father's death to Pitchfork. A cause of death was not disclosed.Advertisement

The New York Daily News also confirmed James Mtume's death.

James Mtume was the son of jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath who was raised by his mother Bertha Forman and pianist James 'Hen Gates' Forman who played in Charlie Parker's band.

The musician played percussion on his uncle Albert 'Tottie' Heath's album Kawaida and released album Land of the Blacks in 1972 under his group Mtume Umoja Ensemble.

James Mtume later formed his most known band called Mtume, with the group releasing their debut album titled Kiss This World Goodbye in 1978.

The group's song "Juicy Fruit," from their 1983 album of the same name, served as their biggest hit. Late rapper Notorious B.I.G. famously sampled the track on his 1994 hit "Juicy."Advertisement

James Mtume also toured with Miles Davis, penned hits for Phyllis Hyman and Teddy Pendergrass and performed with the likes of Duke Ellington, Lonnie Liston Smith, Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins.

James Mtume additionally composed the music for film Native Son and joined forces with Reggie Lucas to help create "Never Knew Love Like This Before" for Stephanie Mills and "The Closer I Get to You" by Roberta Flack.

Read MoreDwayne Hickman, 'The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis' star, dead at 87Matilda The Hun, GLOW wrestler, dead at 73What to watch next: Sign up for UPI's Streaming newsletterTopicsCharlie ParkerMiles DavisTeddy PendergrassDuke EllingtonDizzy GillespieRoberta Flack

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