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Album Review

Mittoo, Jackie – “Wishbone” – [Light in the Attic]

Sir Cumference   1/7/2011   CD, Reggae

What happens when you transplant a musician from Jamaica to the great white north? In this case, you get a fusion of reggae, soul and funk with a 32-piece orchestra to back it all up.

Founding Skatalites keyboard virtuoso Jackie Mittoo emigrated from Jamaica to Canada in the later part of the ’60s, where he joined a burgeoning West Indian community in Toronto. Despite his fame back home, he just managed to survive as a gigging musician – playing a myriad of different styles, in a myriad of different clubs. As luck would have it, another Jamaican transplant had managed to convince the media company he was working for to start up a record label where – after a handful of other releases – they approached Mittoo to record for them. The rest, as they say is history – except that (despite the quality of the music and recordings) the fledgling record company didn’t have the distribution mechanism to back it up, and the record’s sales failed to make any money and the label folded after only three years.

After thirty-five years, this pioneering Canadian reggae album was rereleased allowing us the opportunity the relive a long-lost treasure from a musician who left us way to early.

Jah mon, eh?

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