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Jackie Mittoo
The Jackie Mittoo ~ Showcase
LP / 12" Vinyl
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Jackie Mittoo is one of Jamaica's musical giants, a towering figure in the development of reggae whose skills as a keyboardist and musical arranger led to indelible changes in the evolution of Jamaican popular music, helping it to reach international prominence. An exceptionally-expressive player whose mastery of the organ was truly outstanding, Mittoo was also a gifted arranger with an intrinsic feel for what would work best, his key instruction giving shape to ska at Studio One and roots reggae at Channel One and other Kingston studios, as well as lover's rock at Wackies in New York and with Sugar Minott and UB40 in Britain, Jackie's own productions later incorporating far-out synthesizer experiments and vocoder techniques. Reggae as we know it would never have existed without Mittoo's essential input, making him an under-sung icon of Jamaican song. Jackie Mittoo went on to make all kinds of other incredible music in Jamaica, the UK, USA, and Canada before dying of cancer in 1990 at the tragically young age of 42; the dramatic send-off he received at the National Arena in Kingston gives some indication of the stellar status he achieved in his lifetime and the universal respect with which he was regarded. In an exemplary career full of exceptional music, Showcase, originally released on Bunny Lee's own imprint Jackpot in 1977, remains one of his greatest, an enthralling collection of stunners that shows why he will always be regarded as Jamaica's keyboard king.