Über Jackie Mittoo
Few would contest the claim that Jackie Mittoo is the most prolific and influential Jamaican keyboard player of modern times. A child prodigy, Mittoo was already playing in professional bands by the time he was a teenager, and in 1964 (at age 15) he was a founding member of seminal Ska group the Skatalites. After they disbanded he hooked up with legendary producer Coxsone Dodd, who had a fledgling recording studio; he served as session man and composer for the famous Studio One label throughout the explosive mid-1960s. He can be heard on literally thousands of recordings, and he is responsible for some of the basic "riddims" of Jamaican music that are still being recycled today. Utilizing a range of tones, his tremolo sustains are famous. and at times his playing sounds downright funky. As in the American South, the church in Jamaica played a vital role in cultivating musical talent, and Mittoo's soulful Hammond B-3 playing demonstrates an ecstatically evangelical fervor.