Mizell Brothers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

  (Redirected from Larry Mizell)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Mizell Brothers were a record producing team in the 1970s, consisting of Larry Mizell (February 17, 1944, NYC, New York) and Alphonso "Fonce" Mizell (January 15, 1943, NYC, New York - July 5, 2011, Los Angeles, California).[1][2]



Larry earned a degree in engineering and Fonce Mizell earned a degree in music from Howard University. While there they formed and performed in a jazz vocal quartet, the Vanlords. In the early 1970s, Larry and Fonce Mizell moved to California to start their own company, Sky High Productions. They went on to produce albums for Blue Note Records that set the tone for jazz fusion and the era. The Mizell Brothers often used the same musicians on their albums, including Harvey Mason on drums, Melvin "Wah Wah Watson" Ragin and David T. Walker on guitar, Chuck Rainey on bass and Jerry Peters on piano. Freddie Perren and Chuck Davis were sometimes involved as co-writers or co-producers.

Later hits of Sky High Productions include A Taste Of Honey's platinum-selling roller-rink anthem of 1978 "Boogie Oogie Oogie", L.T.D.'s "Love Ballad", a number 1 R&B hit (#20 pop) in 1976 and Mary Wells' dance funk 12-inch "Gigolo" in 1982. Younger brother Rodney Mizell co-wrote some of their songs, although most material initially was written by Larry Mizell, later joined by Fonce. They also included a number of Motown hits on Donald Byrd's albums including "Just My Imagination" and "Dancing In The Street". In the 1980s, the Mizell brothers retired from the record industry, but returned in the 2000s. Larry Mizell wrote and performed vocals on the song "Play With The Changes" on the 4Hero album of the same name in 2007.


As an electrical engineer, Larry Mizell performed testing and reliability work on the Lunar Module for the NASA Apollo program. He was one of the first to do research on liquid crystals, which today are used for example in displays (LCD).


Alphonso Mizell was a member of The Corporation, the Motown hit-making production team that wrote and produced all of The Jackson 5's essential early hits from 1969 through 1971, including "I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save," "Mama's Pearl," and "Maybe Tomorrow." The Corporation also consisted of Motown founder Berry Gordy plus writer-producers Deke Richards, who brought Fonce to the company, and Freddie Perren, a classmate of the Mizells at Howard who also later worked for Sky High Productions.

When Motown moved to Los Angeles, the Mizells joined up with trumpet player Donald Byrd under whom they had studied while at Howard University. Their first album, Black Byrd on the Blue Note label, was the first of a string of albums together that would define fusion jazz and lay the foundation for acid jazz and neo soul. Alphonso died on July 5, 2011 of heart failure. He was 68 years old.[2]


YearArtistAlbumLabelTracks Produced
1972Donald ByrdBlack ByrdBlue Note RecordsEntire Album
1973Donald ByrdStreet LadyBlue NoteEntire Album
Bobbi HumphreyBlacks and BluesBlue NoteEntire Album
The MiraclesRenaissanceMotown RecordsWigs And Lashes & Don't Let It End ('Til You Let It Begin) (Co-Produced with Freddie Perren)
The Jackson 5SkywriterMotownHallelujah Day & Ooh, I'd Love To Be With You (Co-Produced with Freddie Perren)
Michael JacksonMusic & MeMotownWith A Child's Heart & Up Again (Co-Produced with Freddie Perren)
Jermaine JacksonCome Into My LifeMotownYou're In Good Hands (Co-Produced with Freddie Perren)
Elaine BrownElaine BrownBlack ForumEntire Album (Co-Produced with Freddie Perren)
1974Donald ByrdStepping into TomorrowBlue NoteEntire Album
Bobbi HumphreySatin DollBlue NoteEntire Album
The BlackbyrdsThe BlackbyrdsFantasy RecordsEntire Album
Johnny HammondGambler's LifeSalvation RecordsEntire Album
Edwin StarrHell Up in HarlemMotownEntire Album (Co-Produced with Freddie Perren)
Brenda Lee Eager"When I'm With You"Mercury RecordsWhen I'm With You (7" Single)
Margie Evans"Waterfalls"Buddah RecordsWaterfalls (7" Single)
1975Donald ByrdPlaces and SpacesBlue NoteEntire Album
Bobbi HumphreyFancy DancerBlue NoteEntire Album
Johnny HammondGearsMilestone RecordsEntire Album
Gary BartzThe Shadow DoPrestige RecordsEntire Album
Michael JacksonForever, MichaelMotownI'll Come Home To You (Co-Produced with Freddie Perren)
1976Donald ByrdCaricaturesBlue NoteEntire Album
L.T.D.Love To The WorldA&M RecordsEntire Album
Roger GlennReachin'FantasyEntire Album
1977Gary BartzMusic Is My SanctuaryCapitol RecordsEntire Album
The Rance Allen GroupSay My FriendCapitolEntire Album
1978A Taste of HoneyA Taste Of HoneyCapitolEntire Album
1979A Taste of HoneyAnother TasteCapitolEntire Album
1981Mary WellsIn And Out Of LoveEpic RecordsGigolo


External links