About Mo Pleasure
Mo Pleasure, has earned a reputation for being something of a musical x-factor, bringing his elusive and exciting je ne sais quoi to a myriad of musical settings in a variety of ways – bass, keys, trumpet, musical director, producer. As a solo artist, Mo has established a sound that gracefully incorporates several genres while maintaining a consistent sound that is organic, sophisticated, and funky.
As an acclaimed touring musician, his status has been cemented. Ever since he was plucked from his senior year of the University of Connecticut to play bass with Ray Charles on his world tour, Pleasure has racked up an impressive list of touring credits that highlight his versatility.
After his career-initiating stint with Ray Charles, Mo set up shop in New York City scoring work as a session and live player. In both roles, he performed with some of the most accomplished talents in Jazz and R&B including George Duke, Natalie Cole, Dianne Reeves, Jonathan Butler, Rachelle Ferrell, Michael McDonald, Oleta Adams, Roberta Flack, Marcus Miller and Frankie Beverly and Maze, to name a few.
Eventually, he scored a full-time gig with Najee as musical director and keyboardist. The pair struck gold with their co-composition “Tokyo Blue.” He continued to score work with top artists of every genre including Alex Bugnon, Roberta Flack, Rachelle Ferrell, Earth Wind & Fire, Maxwell, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and most recently, Christina Aguilera and David Foster.
He has appeared at all the major worldwide jazz festivals, earning a following of his own among devotees of soul, jazz and “grown folks’ music.” He’s also made great use of his classical music chops as a featured concert pianist, performing Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. Mo had the opportunity to combine his appreciation for dance and love of music when he played piano to accompany the Boston Ballet.
As a songwriter, Mo has developed a distinct voice all his own. In addition to his gold record with Najee, his compositions are also featured in film. Movie soundtrack credits include “Talkin’” featured in the Disney movie “Three Men and a Little Lady” and the EWF single co-written with Philip Bailey, “Cruisin,” featured in Spike Lee’s “Get On The Bus.” “Brazilian Rain,” a song co-written with Earth Wind & Fire bandmate, the legendary drummer Sonny Emory, was featured on Ramsey Lewis’ Urban Knights project. Embracing new media opportunities, Morris’ work can even be heard in Verizon Wireless’ How Sweet The Sound Internet campaign.
There are many Television and Video performances to Mo’s credit, including Ray Charles BBC Special, Lopez Tonight, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, VH-1 Storytellers, Mad TV, BET on Jazz, VH1, The Tonight Show, Earth, Wind & Fire documentary Shining Stars and HBO Special – Janet Jackson in Hawaii.
Two of Mo’s collaborative projects were released independently in Spring 2005. Devoted Spirits’ Tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire and Audio Caviar’s Transoceanic. Audio Caviar is a collaboration featuring Mo on piano, bass, trumpet and flugelhorn; Ralph Johnson on drums and Denmark guitarist Steen Kyed.
In 2009, Mo accepted the great honor of playing in Michael Jackson’s final touring band that was scheduled to perform in the late superstar’s historic comeback residency at London’s O2 Arena this fall. Turning heartbreak into artistic catharsis, Mo and the rest of Michael’s band performed at the soul-stirring memorial service for Michael Jackson on July 7, 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Now, in the wake of Jackson’s untimely passing, Mo’s musicianship has earned him a place in history as a cast member of the highest grossing concert documentary film of all time.
In addition to his solo activity, Mo became the fourth member of Native Son, a band of all-stars including John “JR” Robinson (drums), Bobby Watson (bass) and Michael Thompson (guitar).Their debut project, Son Talk explores the intersections between jazz, funk and rock.
Mo’s first offering as a solo artist, Elements of Pleasure, was released in 2006 to critical acclaim. The release expanded his worldwide following and established him as a producer and multi-instrumentalist with an unmatched flair for synthesizing many elements into one cohesive musical statement. Scheduled for release in 2010, Mo’s second solo effort, Mo’Elements of Pleasure is a much more personal work, drawing upon years of personal experiences all over the world. Using his multi-instrumental prowess, Mo’Elements of Pleasure promises to take the listener deep into the heart of Mo’s sensitive soul with tales of sensuality, romance, love for the environment and humanity.
For more information visit www.mopleasure.com.