SJF is sad to announce the death, at 68, of songwriter and producer, FONCE MIZELL.
Fonce is fondly remembered by jazz-funk-fusion fans for his work with brother Larry in the guise of the ’70s production team, Sky High, which helmed key Blue Note albums for trumpeter Donald Byrd (including ‘Black Byrd’), flautist Bobbi Humphrey (‘Black & Blues’), as well as producing organ maestro, Johnny Hammond (‘Gears’) and masterminding LTD’s ‘Love Ballad,’ and Taste Of Honey’s infectious disco floor filler, ‘Boogie Oogie Oogie.’
Prior to this, Fonce – who was born Alphonso Mizell in New Jersey and cut his teeth in local doo-wop group The Nikons before studying with Donald Byrd at Howard University – played a key role in the early success of the Jackson 5 at Motown. As a member of the Detroit company’s songwriting and production outfit, The Corporation – along with Berry Gordy, Deke Richards and Freddie Perren – he contributed to the family group’s early hits ‘I Want You Back,’ ‘ABC,’ ‘The Love You Save,’ ‘Mama’s Pearl,’ and ‘Maybe Tomorrow.’
Mizell passed away on July 5th though as yet the cause of his death has not been disclosed.