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The Jackie Mittoo Revue (Mista Savona)


'Kickin the B’ at 303 - 24 JANUARY 2019, 303 High St Northcote, Melbourne. From 9pm - midnight


Presented by Jake Savona and friends, including:

Baz Turnbull: Guitar
Andy Paps: Bass
Jules 'Slap 10' Goyma: Drums
Jake Savona: Hammond Organ, Clavinet, Synths
Neda Rahmani: percussion

and special guests!

303 is ‘pulling out all the stops’ and has installed a big and beautiful vintage 60’s Hammond organ (B3 in a churchy cabinet) and mighty ‘Leslie’ rotary speaker in the front bar. Few, if any, venues are lucky enough to permanently host the incredible and unique sounds produced by this dynamic combination. We all know - there is no substitute for the real thing.

To celebrate, Jake Savona and friends are presenting their seventh instalment of Australia's only 'JACKIE MITTOO REVUE' - presenting two sets of material from the Jamaican keyboardist's vast repertoire of funk, soul and reggae. With a particular focus on his Studio One instrumental output in the 60's and 70's, this is a night DEFINITELY not to be missed!

From 8pm. $10 on the door

JACKIE MITTOO - Biography:

Keyboard virtuoso Jackie Mittoo is one of the founding figures of Jamaican music, originally forming the legendary Skatalites in 1963, and quickly gaining full time work as composer and arranger at Coxsone Dodd's legendary Studio One - arguably Jamaica's most influential studio in the development of rocksteady and reggae music. Jackie was an extraordinarily prolific songwriter and accomplished keyboardist, and became a mentor to countless younger performers in his time.

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 groups including the Vagabonds and the Vikings. He frequently skipped school to play with the house band at nearby Federal Studios, and it was there that he met producer Coxsone Dodd, who recruited Mittoo for recording sessions when the scheduled pianist failed to appear on time. While attending Kingston College, he began jamming with fellow student Augustus Pablo, and they eventually formed a trio - the Jackie Mitree - which performed his original compositions.

By 1962, Mittoo was earning attention across the island for his work in the band the Sheiks, one of Jamaica's most sought after club attractions. Despite rechristening themselves the Cavaliers Orchestra, their popularity continued to soar that year. When Dodd opened Studio One in Kingston in 1963, he employed Mittoo to serve as musical director; in the years to follow Jackie played on virtually every disc the studio produced, arranging much of the material and helping develop new songs until they were sufficiently polished to meet standards. By the early months of 1964, he set about forming a new band with Studio One session regulars Tommy McCook, Lloyd Brevette, and Lester Sterling, as well as the Cavaliers' Lloyd Knibb and Johnny Moore. Dubbing themselves the Skatalites, they were to become the quintessential ska band of the period; also featuring the legendary trombonist Don Drummond, the group lasted just 14 months - from June 1964 to August 1965 - but their influence on music worldwide remains incalculable.

After the Skatalites split, Mittoo began a solo career, scoring a major hit with his rendition of the Heptones' "Fatty Fatty." The instrumental smash "Ram Jam" followed in 1967, and resulted in a series of instrumental LPs, among them In London, Evening Time, Keep on Dancing, Now, and Macka Fat. At the same time, Mittoo continued his relentless pace at Studio One - according to the terms of his basic arrangement with Dodd, he received payment upon delivering five new 'riddims' (instrumental tracks) a week, which over the years resulted in literally thousands of compositions which he both composed and arranged. Among Mittoo's greatest contributions of the mid to late '60s were "Darker Shade of Black" (the basis for Frankie Paul's "Pass the Tu Sheng Peng"), Freddie McGregor's "Bobby Babylon," Alton Ellis' "I'm Still in Love with You," the Cables' "Feel Like Jumping" and the rocksteady anthem "Baby Why". In 1970, his "Peanie Wallie" was also versioned by the Wailers, becoming the hit "Duppy Conqueror."

Mittoo relocated from Jamaica to Toronto, Ontario in 1968, one of many reggae performers who found a home among the clubs lining the city's Yonge Street area. He returned to Kingston regularly however, and was closely aligned with Dodd and Studio One throughout the decades to follow. In Toronto, Mittoo also accepted a day job working for the Canadian Talent Library, an organization which worked to ensure that a sufficient amount of Canadian music was broadcast over national radio airwaves. By 1972, he had lived there for four years, and his work became qualified as "Canadian content"; for the CTL he recorded the album Reggae Magic which launched the hit 'Wish Bone." During the mid '70's, Mittoo also traveled to England to record a series of LPs with Bunny Lee, and during the next decade he worked regularly with Sugar Minott amongst otehrs. In 1989, Mittoo joined the reunited Skatalites, but health problems soon forced him to bow out; he passed away from cancer on December 16, 1990. His legacy however is vast, and lives on today through the massive worldwide resurgence of interest in roots reggae music, as well as the continuing 'versioning' of his songs and riddims by artists and producers around the globe.