James Forman a.k.a. MTUME (1947-2022) – Petit Bear pays respects in a 120mins mix


“I tell people my foreground is jazz, not my background. And there’s so many things about jazz, that I was able to translate when I migrated into pop and funk and R&B and that is having your own signature. Finding your own signature is the most important thing. Now sameness has become the vibe; I call it, in many cases, the glorification of mediocrity. You’ve got to raise the bar. Who are you? What is your signature?”.

These are the words of James Mtume (1946-2022), talking to Stephanie Reneé in 2018 about musical identity. Since 1960, James Forman has been exploring his identity as a musician, producer, songwriter, activist, and radio personality. Best known as the leader of the R&B group MTUME, over the years he has collaborated with great musicians, such as Miles Davis, Don Cherry, Herbie Hancock, and Sonny Rollins.

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