Jackie Mittoo

Evening Time

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Featuring a particularly natty cover photo of Mittoo set off by a very mod-looking standup organ, palm trees, and a trio of island lovelies, Evening Time further plies its groove exotica theme with bounce-and-grind gems from the rocksteady and early reggae days. The year was 1968, and Mittoo had already risen to the top of the competitive Kingston music scene, first as a member of the Skatalites and then as a the session leader of Clement Dodd's venerable Studio One label. This collection includes 12 tasty instrumentals culled from the slew of material he cut with such Studio One bands as the Soul Syndicate, Sound Dimension, and the Soul Defenders. The top-notch solos and infectious grooves make it clear why Mittoo -- both as an organist and arranger -- helped make Studio One rhythms the most heavily versioned in reggae's long history. And with such highlights as the noirish "Drum Song" and a fine take on the Prince Buster hit "One Step Beyond" topping things off, Evening Time qualifies as the perfect record for Mittoo fans in need of something beyond the handful of retrospectives currently available.

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