Jah Rock Style ~ The Anthology
Jackie Mittoo
Trojan Records
November 21, 2005

Track list
  1. You'll Never Find
  2. A Rocking Sensation
  3. World Of Love
  4. The Avenger
  5. The Penetrater (aka The Scientist)
  6. Mediator
  7. Standing Ovation (aka Midnight Special)
  8. Jah Rock Style (aka Ram Jam)
  9. Hot Blood
  10. Channel One Crash
  11. Brain Mark
  12. Earthquake
  13. Atom Sounds (aka The Magician)
  14. A Revolting Rockers
  15. In Cold Blood
  16. Hot Milk
  17. Darker Shade
  18. Drum Song
  19. North Of The Sun
  20. Super Charge
  21. One Step Forward
  22. Who Done It
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 2
"Jackie Mittoo was a king; Jackie was a classical player, so highly into music. When he played, when he reached heights, tears would come to his eyes. He took his music so seriously: when you heard it -- his sound -- then tears would come to your eyes too." (Creation Rebel's Eskimo Fox in conversation with Greg Whitfield, 2004)

Fluid funk keyboard patterns, cold avant garde shards of sound and Jimmy Smith jazz style chord structures compete with each other on top of some of the most blistering Bunny Lee dubs you are likely to hear. Jackie's influence on Augustus Pablo's works seems clear here (Pablo's Afro Cuban keyboard grooves on "Viva Tirado" come to mind, as well as the cold mysticism of Pablo’s works like "Eastern Code").

Mittoo's track titles speak volumes: "Earthquake" and "Atom Sounds" express the spiralling physical force of the compositions, bass resonations overlaid with Jackie's keyboard styles -- at times reminiscent of Blue Note and Verve label classic grooves.

The mastering is booming, harsh and bright. (Trojan are not always known for good mastering -- but this cd has great sound. Is it Kevin Metcalfe at the desk?)

Still, it must be said, there are those who have reservations about this mid to late 70's period of Jackie's playing, preferring his earlier session work at Studio One and with the Skatalites -- which complemented -- rather than dominated the mix.

There seems to be little "in between" with Jackie Mittoo's Hammond organ sound -- you either love it unreservedly, or conversely, consider it far too "lounge" bland. Simple as that.

You know where you stand regarding his sound -- if you are a follower, this is an excellent record. Watch out especially for the versions of Tappa's "MPLA" and the version to The Heptones awesome, spirited and driven "Whip Them".

This is perhaps best suited to for those listeners who love Jimmy Smith, Grant Green style Verve/Impulse music, mixed up with an argumentative Tubby's drum and bass.