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Artist Profile
Jackie Mittoo
Mar 3, 1948 ~ Dec 16, 1990
Jackie Mittoo’s work at Studio One in the sixties built, shaped, refined and defined reggae music as we know it. He was not only an extremely talented keyboard player but was also a supremely gifted arranger and record producer.
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Real name:
Donat Roy Mittoo
Place of birth:
Jamaica
St. Ann
Browns Town
"He was an ambassador of our music worldwide... there can be no doubt. Read the legacy this young man has left behind. May his name be remembered and his music live on." Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd(CS Dodd)

Born in the parish of St. Ann in Browns Town 3rd March 1948 Donat Roy 'Jackie' Mittoo(Jackie Mittoo) grew up in York Castle where his grandmother was a music teacher and, from the age of three onwards, she taught him to play classical piano. Jackie made his first public appearance at the tender age of ten and his first band, Jackie Mittoo's Ragtime Band, played rags and rhythm & blues. Three years later his family moved to Kingston where Jackie joined The Rivals, who were not together for very long, before he left to join The Sheiks many of whose members would go on become hugely influential musicians. Their line up included Lloyd Knibbs on drums, Lloyd Spence on bass, Lyn Taitt on guitar, 'Deadly' Hedley Bennett and Bobby Gaynair on saxophones, Roy Sterling (Lester's brother) and Johnny 'Dizzy' Moore on trumpets and Dobby Dobson, 'Honey Boy' Martin, Norma Frazer and Ken Lazarus on vocals. The Sheiks played to audiences before the films began at a number of Kingston cinemas including The Majestic, The Tropical and The Rialto. The band also played at clubs such as The Sombrero where they provided the backing for more established local vocalists and they eventually became known as The Cavaliers Orchestra.

"These bands filled in the time and gave their members an opportunity to work out their ideas and develop their talents..."

By the time Jackie started High School he was already a semi professional musician playing piano just for fun in the week in his lunch hour at Kingston College with his school friends and playing a more serious role at weekends with The Cavaliers in cinemas, clubs and theatres. Jackie was then approached by Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd while sitting in with Lyn Taitt and the house band at Federal Recording Studios.

"Jackie came to the attention of Recording Executive Clement S. Dodd in Kingston Jamaica; and while still at school he worked as a staff musician for Coxsone Records appearing as a 'side man' on many recording dates for that label." Evening Time

And in 1963 when Coxsone opened the Jamaican Recording and Publishing Studio, better known as Studio One, at 13 Brentford Road, Kingston 5 on the site of The End, a former night club, he asked Jackie to come and help him with the arrangement and development of songs. Jackie was originally employed to compose five new rhythms a week but would soon become a key figure at Brentford Road as a musician, arranger and talent scout. Jackie and other key musicians including Tommy McCook, Theophilus Beckford and Gladstone Anderson played a seminal role in the development of the music: they would give the bass player his lines, write out the chords for the guitarist, then arrange and produce the records. He also began to play both piano and organ with The Skatalites and, by the time ska had become a fully-fledged musical form, Jackie's piano had become an integral part of the music. Two years later The Skatalites broke up and Jackie formed The Soul Brothers. They soon transformed into The Soul Vendors who, alongside Lynn Taitt's Jets, Tommy McCook's Supersonics and Bobby Aitken's Carib Beats, were responsible for the aching, elegant music known as rock steady.

In rock steady the organ became a regular addition to the rhythm section as the slower approach gave more space for it to be featured alongside the piano and guitar and, from now on, the name of Jackie Mittoo would become inextricably linked with the sound of the Hammond organ. It was still used mainly for intro lines and riffs in vocal tunes but the organ now began to play a more important role in the arrangements of backing tracks. Jackie would often play piano throughout a song and simultaneously play an organ fill with his right hand at the appropriate moment.

In 1967 The Heptones' risqué 'Fattie Fattie' was banned from the Jamaican airwaves and Jackie originated what would become another defining element of the music when he created a next instrumental version to 'Fattie Fattie' over the rhythm or backing track. Entitled 'Ram Jam' in tribute to the celebrated club in Brixton, South London where The Soul Vendors had appeared on their legendary UK tour it was one of his most soulful organ pieces ever and a huge hit.

"These are the men that have set audiences Grooving All Night up and down the country at clubs like 'The Cue Club', Ram Jam', 'The 32 Club', 'The Roaring Twenties' and a host of other night spots and dancehalls." Soul Vendors On Tour

He was able to wrest great depths of feeling from his chosen instrument and, as his career as a solo musician began to take shape, Jackie made a series albums at Studio One that exemplified all that the Hammond organ was capable of in the right hands. As rock steady developed into reggae the organ began to establish its place in the rhythm section and Jackie Mittoo, along with keyboard maestros such as Gladstone Anderson and Winston Wright, developed a style of playing that helped drive the beat onwards and upwards. The organ now became an important lead instrument and organ instrumentals, often with the addition of a film themed introduction or an early deejay workout, created by playing over existing rhythm tracks often proved more popular with record buyers than the original vocal versions.

At the close of the sixties Jackie moved to Canada and settled in Toronto although he continued to regularly return to Jamaica and work for Coxsone at Studio One. While in Canada Jackie played with visiting Jamaican artists, set up his own Stine Jac label and became very well known there as a purveyor of 'easy listening' music through his work for the Canadian Talent Library. He had known Bunny 'Striker' Lee(Striker Lee) before Bunny had entered the music business but, by the time they met up again in Canada in 1976, Striker had become one of Jamaica's most successful record producers. Striker persuaded Jackie to work for him on a selection of updates of Jackie's Studio One material from the previous decade. Their first album together, entitled 'The Keyboard King', was a big seller and the duo continued to work together on a series of collaborations, in Jamaica and in the UK, which worked wonders in raising Jackie's profile with younger record buyers. His work at Studio One with countless vocal groups, solo singers and his own, and other musician's instrumentals became the template for the 'rockers' sound of the mid seventies through the work of Augustus Pablo, Joe Gibbs(Joel Gibson) and the Hookims(Joseph Hookim|||) at Channel One.

In the early eighties Jackie was approached by Sugar Minott and asked to join Sugar's Black Roots/Youth Promotion collective. Sugar had established his own label after leaving Studio One and to many followers of the music their adaptations of some of Coxsone's finest rhythms for Black Roots remain the definitive versions. Jackie's impeccable musicianship and consummate production skills ensured that his services were always in demand and he freelanced for a variety of different artists and producers. He played on two tracks on UB40's 'Labour Of Love' album where the Birmingham band paid tribute to the music and the musicians that had first attracted them to the sound of reggae. In 1989 he was asked to join the reformed Skatalites.

Everyone that Jackie Mittoo ever worked with gained from his abundant talents and generosity for he was always willing to share the knowledge and expertise of a lifetime spent making music. Highly respected as an elder statesman he was always willing to share and pass on his deep musical understanding with the younger generation and his name has long been revered throughout the reggae world. However his work and its far reaching influence deserve far wider recognition. It is not enough to describe Jackie Mittoo as one of the greatest keyboard players to ever come out of Jamaica although he undoubtedly was. It is his towering influence on the development of reggae music as a composer and arranger that is truly remarkable and his absolute authority over a genre that, probably more than any other single figure, he helped to create. His untimely death in Toronto, Canada from cancer on 16th December 1990 robbed reggae music of one its most inspirational figures.

"Best of music continually... always." Jackie Mittoo
 
Related artist(s):
Skatalites
Don Drummond
Roland Alphonso
Soul Brothers
Soul Vendors
Sound Dimension
Ernest Ranglin
Pablove Black
Tommy McCook
Alton Ellis
Ken Boothe
Sugar Minott
Freddie McGregor
Label Profile
Studio One
1954 ~
>>Show additional info
 
Hit title(s)
CD A Love I Can Feel - Studio One
¥2080
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LP A Love I Can Feel - Studio One
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LP Born To Love - Studio One
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vinyl 7" Baby Why - Studio One
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vinyl 7" Real Rock - Studio One
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vinyl 7" Love Won't Come Easy - Studio One
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vinyl 7" Pretty Looks Isn't All - Studio One
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vinyl 7" I'm Just A Guy (中盤で音圧が下がる部分あり) - Studio One
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vinyl 7" Stars - Studio One
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vinyl 7" Feel Like Jumping - Studio One
¥850
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vinyl 7" Rougher Yet - Studio One
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vinyl 7" I Don't Know Why - Studio One
¥850
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vinyl 7" Hooligan Ska (Original Stamper) - Studio One
¥850
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vinyl 7" Truly - Studio One
¥850
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vinyl 7" Fattie Fattie - Studio One
¥850
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vinyl 7" Swing Easy - Studio One
¥850
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vinyl 7" Can I Change My Mind - Studio One
¥850
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vinyl 7" What Kind Of World - Studio One
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vinyl 7" I'm Still In Love - Studio One
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vinyl 7" Shu Be Do Be - Studio One
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vinyl 7" Feeling Soul - Studio One
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vinyl 7" Full Up - Studio One
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vinyl 7" I've Got To Go Back Home - Studio One
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vinyl 7" Never Let Go - Studio One
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vinyl 7" Sixth & Seventh Books (Off Center) - Studio One
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>>Best seller(s)
 
Hit rhythm(s)
Yahoo/Ya Ho
Queen Of The Minstrels
Rain From The Sky
Rock Fort Rock
Rocking Time
Rougher Yet
Run Run/Koloko
Sea Of Love
Skylarking
Pretty Looks Isn't All
Pressure & Slide
Race Track
Mean Girl
Nanny Goat
No Man Is An Island
Party Time
Pick Up The Pieces
Picture On The Wall
Please Be True
Smile/Hello Mama Africa
Soul & Inspetation
Truly
Truth & Rights
Unchained
Undying Love
We're In The Mood/Rock Me
What Kind Of World
When I Fall In Love
Why Did You Leave
True Believe In Love
Ting A Ling
Stars
Sweet Talking
Swing Easy
Tell Me Now
Ten To One
Things & Time
Things Come Up To Bump
Throw Me Corn
Mr. Bassie
Moving Away
Mama
Desparate Lover
Drum Song
Fat East
Fattie Fattie
Feel Like Jumping
Feeling Soul
Freak Out
Freedom Blues
Declairation Of Rights
Darker Shade Of Black
African Beat
Answer
Death In The Arena
Bobby Babylon
Breaking Up
Can I Change My Mind
Come Home
Conquer Me
Full Up
General
I'm The Ruler
Joe Frasier
Love I Can Feel
Love Me Always
Love Me Forever
Love Me Girl/Generall
Love Won't Come Easy
Mad Mad
I'm Still In Love
I'm Not A King
Heavenless
Heavy Rock
Heptones Gonna Fight
Hot Milk/Murderer
How Could I Leave
I Shall Be Released
If I Follow My Heart
I'm Just A Guy
Real Rock
 
Related label(s):
Bamboo
Island
Dub Store Records
Soul Jazz Records
Heartbeat
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Description of item
[All Items] → [7"] → [Ska / Rocksteady] → [Rock Steady] → [Jackie Mittoo]
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vinyl 7" 7"
Jackie Mittoo / Actions
Mission Impossible (Orginal Stamper) / Giddap
Studio One
¥850 (US$7.21)
Rating: 1234
Genre: Ska / Rocksteady
Sub Genre: Rock Steady
Produced by: CS Dodd
Approx. year: 1968
Date added: Jan 21, 2013
Country: Jamaica
Music type: Instrumental B: Vocal
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SIDE A:
listen Mission Impossible (Orginal Stamper)
SIDE B:
listen Giddap
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