Alphonso “Fonce” Mizell, member of Motown hit-makers The Corporation and half of the production duo The Mizell Brothers, has passed away. He was 68 years old. The cause of death is unknown.
Mizell was recruited by writer-producer Deke Richards to join The Corporation, which also included Berry Gordy and Freddie Perren. The production team was responsible for writing and producing The Jackson 5's early hits, including “I Want You Back” and “ABC.” After Motown moved to Los Angeles, Fonce and his brother Larry, aka The Mizell Brothers, moved as well and formed their own production company, Sky High Productions.
The first album they produced, Donald Byrd's Black Byrd, for Blue Note Records label, launched a string of albums that helped shape the jazz fusion genre as well as lay the foundation for neo-soul.
The Mizell Brothers' production work has been widely sampled and remixed by artists such as J Dilla, A Tribe Called Quest, and Madlib. Recognize this?:
Rest in peace to a legendary, profoundly significant producer.