Jackie Mittoo is one of the most important artists in the history of Jamaican music. As founding member of the legendary Skatalites, as in-house arranger/producer at Studio One and as a solo artist in his own right leading groups such as The Soul Brothers, Sound Dimension and Soul Vendors.
These classic and rare recordings were made in the mid-1960s at Studio One. The Soul Brothers bridged the gap between Ska and the arrival of Rocksteady mixing it all up with Funk, Jazz and Latin styles. The Soul Brothers recorded at Studio One between 1965-1967. This was the transitionary period between Ska and Rocksteady where the music was a mixture of Funk, Latin and Jazz sometimes with a reminder of Ska and the hint of Rocksteady.
The previous era of Ska had been dominated by the Skatalites, the first in-house band at Studio One who created classic hits such as "Guns of Navaronne", "Man in the Street", "El Pussy Cat" and many more. Unfortunately the strong personalities in the group meant that The Skatalites stayed together for less than two years. It was also around this time that the mentally unwell Don Drummond was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, the dancer Margerita.
In August 1965, barely a week after the demise of the original Skatalites, The Soul Brothers (featuring ex-Skatalites members Jackie Mittoo, Roland Alphonso, Johnny Moore and Lloyd Brevitt) were up and running as the new house band at Studio One.
The Soul Brothers were essentially a collective, releasing material under their own name or under a nominal leader (usually Jackie Mittoo or Rolando Alphonso). The group line-up changed over time with Bobby Ellis (trumpet), Bryan Atkinson (bass), Dennis Campbell (Sax), Harry Haughton (guitarist) and Joe Isaacs (drummer) replacing various members alongside the ever present Jackie Mittoo.
"Jackie Mittoo was a true star of Jamaican music; a founder member of The Skatalites, a prolific composer and the keyboard powerhouse behind many a classic tune. His simple, often hypnotic approach, to ska, rocksteady and reggae made him one of the most distinctive sounding musicians of the era." BBC
"Jackie Mittoo was one of the great names in Jamaican music, manning the keyboards for the Skatalites, the Soul Vendors, and Sound Dimension-- three of the greatest house bands of the 60s (and I mean anywhere, not just in Jamaica)." PITCHFORK