Friday, October 07, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Jackie Mittoo

Artist:Jackie Mittoo
Song:P Cafe
Album:The Keyboard King at Studio One

Jackie Mittoo was an important figure in Jamaican music first as co-founder of The Skatalites and then as musical director at Studio One in the mid-60s. Then he moved to Toronto and was a big part of the music scene there. Though Mittoo recorded under his own name, most of his contribution to Jamaican music was as a producer and arranger. He was born Mar. 9, 1948 in Brown's Town, Jamaica. He started playing piano at age four and as a teen, he played in groups like The Vagabonds and The Vikings. He started hanging around Federal Studios where he met Coxsone Dodd and Dodd would use Mittoo when the scheduled pianist didn't show up. In the early 60s, Mittoo had success with The Shieks. But when Dodd opened Studio One in 1963, he hired Mittoo as musical director. So he produced all the singers that came through Studio One. And he formed the pioneering group The Skatalites with Don Drummond, Tommy McCook, Lloyd Brevitte, Lester Sterling, Lloyd Knibb and Johnny Moore. After The Skatalites split up in 1965, Mittoo continued to produce Studio One artists and release music as Jackie Mittoo and under other group names. This was mostly instrumental music. P Cafe was on The Soul Bros. 1967 album Hot Shot. Musicians were Dennis Campbell on sax, Bobby Ellis on trumpet, Harry Haughon on guitar, Bryan Atkinson on bass and Joe Isaacs on drums. Mittoo's organ is really sweet. The Soul Bros. had different musicians depending on who was in the studio at the time. This CD is a good sampling of Mittoo's Studio One work. Mittoo moved to Toronto in 1969. He continued to record and produce local reggae artists. And he owned his own record shop on Eglinton Ave. W. in the heart of Toronto's Jamaican community. Mittoo was supposed to be a part of the 1989 Skatalites reunion. But poor health forced him to back out and he died of cancer on Dec. 16, 1990 at age 42. A sad and premature end for a Jamaican music legend. Here's a video of P Cafe by Jackie Mittoo.

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