Time passes, sadly another legend has gone. Alphonso “Fonce” Mizell of the legendary Mizell Brothers passed away on July the 5th. Most of the great names in music we tend to remember are the frontmen, the performers you see on stage, but that is not the case here.
Great performers were often standing on the shoulders of giants. They had people you never saw writing their songs and producing the music behind the decks, in the studio. That was Fonce Mizell’s job.
Its impossible to sum up in a few lines what this man did for music, first on Motown, then on his own company Sky High Productions.
Responsible with The Corporation production team for the hits of the early Jackson 5, one of the inventors of Jazz Funk (or Fusion Jazz as you want to call it), his collaboration with Donald Byrd was nothing short than magic and inspirated a whole new generation of artists. We already posted an interesting podcast featuring an interview and a mix (check it here). Lets remember some of the highlights of his incredible career.
Check this interesting footage where they talk about forging the early Jackson 5 hits. You might have never heard the name of Fonce Mizell, but you sure have heard about the King Of Pop, do you?
The Jackson 5 “Its great to be here” initial bars did matter a lot to early Hip Hop djs playing breaks for the crowd
Of course we cannot help to point out the Footprints the Mizell Sound left on the Hip Hop music we love and grew up with, ask Q-Tip:
Mizell was the Main Source of sampling for so much hip hop artists, especially in the 90s
Do you like DMX’s first album? We do. One of the best songs from that album was based on this tune:
“Buck’em Down” gave Boot Camp Clik a worldwide audience, we already talked about it
Well, it’s time to let the music speak as usual. This is not to be intended as a complete biography, but rather as a collection of musical moments that were relevant to my personal life as a fan. You can find pretty much all the music you heard above, as well as a few surpises, like an alternate version of Jackson 5′s “ABC”, in this special package I prepared here. Let’s remember the musical genius that Fonce Mizell was in the most appropriate manner. You can easily hear his distinctive sound all along the 21 tunes.
May he rest in peace and may we remember him smiling in the studio along with his friends.
(and don’t forget to check this great interview and mix we posted months ago)