1. Listen to James Mtume’s RBMA Radio
    “Fireside Chat” (AUDIO).

    James Mtume ‘s enjoyed the kind of career most can only dream of. The biological son of saxophonist Jimmy Heath of the Heath Brothers, Mtume went on to helm percussion duties in Miles Davis’ groundbreaking early ’70s group before fully striking out on his own as a producer, songwriter and bandleader. Classic R&B fans are surely well familiar with the man’s classy work behind the console with partner Reggie Lucas for Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, Phyllis Hyman and the group that bore his name, Mtume. Rap fans can claim familiarity with his repertoire via the magic of sampling (e.g. Biggie’ “Juicy,” Jay-Z’s “Coming of Age” etc.) – an ironic twist given his late ’80s feud with the hip-hop generation over receiving proper credit and compensation for his digitally pillaged beats. In a recent sit-down for RBMA Radio , Mtume discusses the remarkable arc of his life and career: from sharing meals as a child in his kitchen with jazz giants to lessons learned from Miles to the painful memory of the recording session on the night Donny Hathaway took his own life to why Stetsasonic’s “Talkin’ All That Jazz” was in essence written about him.

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