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Drum Song - Single

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Album Review

Jackie Mittoo's jazzy-funky reggae keyboard sensibility is at once as pervasive and singular as any in the history of Jamaican pop music, and in some ways his organ work sounds like Jimmy Smith was thrown into a blender with Booker T. Jones and Peter Tosh and then jolted with equal shots of lounge, dub, and acid jazz. It's pretty infectious stuff, bright and spooky by turns, and always right in the pocket, full of a kind of soulful joy, even on the darker pieces. This fine 18-track collection features sides Mittoo recorded over a classic set of Bunny Lee rhythms in the 1970s (which means you're hearing the legendary rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare on drums and bass), and includes highlights like the title track, "Drum Song," which was originally released as the B-side on a John Holt single; the spooky jazz dub "Big Bad Organ"; the wonderfully funky "Champion of Arena"; and the bright, chugging "Vibes." It's vintage Mittoo. It'll make you smile.


Born: March 3, 1948 in Browns Town, Jamaica

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Keyboard virtuoso Jackie Mittoo was among the true legends of reggae -- a founding member of the Skatalites and an extraordinarily prolific songwriter, he was perhaps most influential as a mentor to countless younger performers, primarily through his work as the musical director at the famed Studio One. Born Donat Roy Mittoo in Browns Town, Jamaica on March 3, 1948, he began playing keyboards at the age of four, and was rarely far from a piano through his teen years, performing professionally in...
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Drum Song - Single, Jackie Mittoo
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