Legendary NYC engineer Tommy Uzzo has passed away at 64
We got some sad news on Monday as we found out about the passing of legendary audio engineer and mixer Tommy Uzzo after his battle with cancer. He was 64. New York City has been hit hard by the pandemic in recent weeks, but online reactions have confirmed Uzzo’s passing is unrelated to COVID-19.
The loss is being felt across the community as condolence messages are starting to pop up across social media.
One person in particular paying tribute is Canadian producer, DJ and engineer David Strickland, who had worked under Uzzo’s tutelage earlier in his career and called him his mentor.
“My Heart is Heavy to hear that you left us Tommy. Heartbroken. Im thankful we got to spend one last time in the studio last summer mixing together like old times. You are a Legend. My mentor, my uncle. You & Mike gave me a chance… That I am forever thankful for. Rest In Peace Tommy Uzzo. 🙏🏼🎚🎛”
Originally from Long Island and starting his career sometime in 1978, Uzzo’s storied discography is as impressive as it is long, and includes some of the top artists in music across all genres.
His list of RIAA Gold and Platinum Award mixes includes Coolio’s It Takes A Thief and various Coolio singles, David Hollister’s Ghetto Hymns, EMPD’s Back In Business, Funkmaster Flex & Big Kap’s The Tunnel, Ja Rule’s Venni Vetti Vecci, Redman and Method Man’s Blackout album, several Redman albums including Doc’s the Name, Malpractice, and Red Gone Wild, and Method Man’s Tical 2000. And those are just some of the releases with plaques. He’s also mixed some massive movie soundtracks including How High, The Show, and Belly.
He’s also worked with Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Kool G Rap, LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Field Mob, Flo Rida, Beenie Man, Selena, Gloria Estefan, and dozens more notable acts. He also did some mixing and sound design for WWE. A discography can be found on his Uzzo’s official website, TommyUzzo.com.
His studio in Long Island, Mirror Image, is tied to some of the biggest records in hip-hip history and attracted talent from across the country. Most were coming specifically to work with Uzzo.
After sharing a post about Uzzo on Instagram, Erick Sermon of EPMD re-posted the image with some insight into Tommy’s influence on hip-hop history:
“This was my engineer ..Tommy Uzzo His studio was called … mirror image In long island… before i started there @common came all the way from chicago To mix and record there… i recorded #HOWHIGH..REDMANS ..MUDDYWATERS DEFSQUAD …KEITHMURRY SECOND ALBUM MY SECOND SOLO ALBUM EPMD LLCOOLJ INSOMNIA. @davehollister @hunteralphonzo …then he moved to the city Around the corner from daddy house Then i made the BLACKOUT ALBUM everyone end up working there @rockwilder @djtwin1 @redmangilla @djclue to name a few.. he wiil be missed RIP TOM… #blessings”
According the bio on Uzzo’s website, “Albums and singles mixed by Tommy have sold in excess of 50 million copies and have resulted in over 40 RIAA Gold or Platinum record awards.”
Along with running his studios in Manhattan and Long Island, Uzzo has taught audio engineering at The Institute of Audio Research in New York City, and has “trained dozens of young engineers in both the technical and aesthetic aspects of audio recording and mixing.”
Uzzo was a multi-talented as one can be and it’s important to mention that he was also a seasoned acoustic and electric bassist.
A friend posted a message on Facebook recalling one his favourite Tommy Uzzo stories, and sharing a video of Uzzo pulling a prank on an unsuspecting Ludacris.
“Here’s one of my favorite Tommy stories.. One day at his studio, I was getting a lot of radio interference on the ATR102. I had no idea what to do, so I grabbed Tommy to help me figure out the issue. He came in, cranked up the speakers and intensely shushed everyone down in the control room. After concentrating on the radio static for a couple seconds, he looked at me, cracked a smile and said ‘I mixed this song!’ Classic. Here’s a great clip of Tommy in action… pulling pranks on Ludacris!”
Our condolences to Mr. Uzzo’s family and friends.
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