Legendary James Mtume’s Passing, Reactions, Videos

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UNSPECIFIED – CIRCA 1970: Photo of Mtume Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
American jazz musician James Mtume (left) and trumpeter Miles Davis (1926 – 1991) arrive at Heathrow Airport in London, UK, 10th July 1973. (Photo by R. Brigden/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The younger generations only remember James Mtume from the sample Diddy used for Notorius B.I.Gs song but for more expierenced music afficianados his career was much more exansive and more amazing than that. He worked with Miles Davis and has produced for many major artists including Donny Hathaway and Phyllis Hyman. Here, James Mtume talks about the night Donny Hathaway killed himself and how troubled he was during his last recording session. He also talks about Phyllis Hyman’s insecurities that she was getting too old and her insecurities about new singers coming up. His appearance on the Breakfast Club is below and quotes from people who knew him. 

RIP and May Allah be pleased with Bro. James Mtume. You know him from the song “Juicy Fruit” sampled by Biggie…but here’s an amazing bit of music history you did not know…

Posted by Jaye Delai on Monday, January 10, 2022

Bro Fatiyn

We Lost A Real, Talented, Genuine Brother Today… My Big Brother, Friend & Mentor ; Grammy Award Winning Musician, Music Writer, Producer James “The 3rd Answer” Mtume! Knowing Bro. Mtume for 28+ Years, I’ve Learned So Much From This Gracious & Wise Brother… Bro. Mtume’s Bio Is Much To Long To Write Here, But I’m So Glad That I Got To Produce Him Along With The Late Bob Slade & Atty. Bob Pickett On The Openline Show. Bro. Mtume Will Be Missed But His Legacy Will Live On Because He Left His Imprint In So Many Categories Of Life Through His Journeys… Rest In Peace My Brother, Rest In Power My Friend… The One & Only, James Mtume

Kipper Jones states:

So much of my life and career doesn’t happen without this man. I would not have stood across a microphone from Sly Stone, singing a song on MY album! I would never have learned all the intricacies of harmony placement in relation to instrumentation the way he taught it.
I also would never have had the nerve to leave my band and embark on a solo career. But Tumes said, “It’s time. What you waitin’ on?” He told me I had outgrown my current situation, and needed to go tell my story. So I did. I never would have met #JeffForman, and been signed as Virgin Records America’s first male solo artist signed to their Black Music division. I never would have gotten an NAACP Image Award nomination for Best New Artist in 1990. I never would have met Angelo Ellerbee, who has given me so much sage advice and been such a loving resource to me and my family. I would have never met the legendary, Tawatha Agee, who is even sweeter than her angelic voice. There’s just so much more to say, stay tuned. I am saddened, but I am emboldened to continue on in Tumes’ tradition; giving, sharing, telling the next crop exactly what the real is! I love you Sir, and I hope to continue to make you proud.
Rest in power, James Mtume.

Mark Mcfee stated:

The hits just keep on coming. I just learned of the passing of my friend musical legend James Mtume. Most of you know him from the hits ” You Me and He and Juicy Fruit ” which was sampled by Biggie Smalls. I knew him for his collaboration with Reggie Lucas who wrote those early hits for Stephanie Mills. Here he is with my classmates Derek Phillips the founder of Real Dads Network. I know the him as. ” brother Tumes the 3rd answer on Open Line & Weekend Review on 98 7 Kiss FM. We often met in the community and he was the music director for New York Under Cover. I was often stopped and asked if he was my father. I had much love and admiration he was always teaching. His father was also a musical legend who passed recently. James Mtume had been blessed to be around those like Miles Davis growing up. He often said brother Mark its cool for these kids to have hit records, but how many of them will have hit careers”. I last saw him at event for our friend Luther Vandross. This hurts he was the Quincy Jones in my life. He is an dictionary of music knowledge Who shared it with those around him not only that he encouraged youth to get involved in their communities. He was the big gun in my phone book. I was working on something I was planning to call him in on an idea I had years ago.



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