July 13, 2011 12:51

Motown hitmaker Alphonso 'Fonce' Mizell dies aged 68

Mizell had a hand in The Jackson 5's early hits

Motown hitmaker Alphonso 'Fonce' Mizell dies aged 68
Alphonso 'Fonce' Mizell from Motown hitmakers The Corporation has died at the age of 68.

Mizell, along with Berry Gordy and Freddie Perren, was one third of the production house responsible for writing and producing The Jackson 5's early hits, including 'I Want You Back', 'ABC' and 'The Love You Save'.

When Motown moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s, Mizell and his brother Larry followed them out of Detroit and, as The Mizell Brothers - pictured above - formed their own production company, Sky High Productions.

Their first album together was trumpet player Donald Byrd's 'Black Byrd', for Blue Note Records. They went on to make a body of work that would lay the foundations of the neo-soul and acid jazz genres. They scored hit singles including A Taste Of Honey's 'Boogie Oogie Oogie' and former Supremes singer Mary Wells' 1982 solo dance hit 'Gigolo'. Their work has been widely sampled by artists including J Dilla and A Tribe Called Quest.

The Mizell Brothers retired from full-time production in the 1980s but made reappearances in the 2000s, notably with 4Hero.

The cause of Mizell's death has not been made public.

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