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Jackie Mittoo

Wishbone (Light in the Attic)

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While the late Jackie Mittoo never achieved the same fame as his peers (Augustus Pablo and Tommy McCook), he was a major player in the history of reggae, rock steady, and ska. Mittoo was an ace keyboardist, a charter member of the Skatalites, and a performer on recordings helmed by Bob Marley, as well as the occasional singer/bandleader.

But roots purists beware -- Wishbone (originally released in 1971) is a half-instrumental mix of reggae, melodious Gamble & Huff/Philly soul, and funky, deep groove instrumentals. Mittoo pours on his sumptuous organ work soulfully thick and sings in a clearly enunciated, mellow baritone. Highlights include "Grand Funk," which sounds like MFSB meets Funkadelic, and the wistful "La-La Girls and Cha-Cha Boys."

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