CEDRIC "IM" BROOKS
* * * * /1978 - Aquarius Recording Company LTD - studio - discs: 1
Cedric "Im" Brooks was musically raised at the famous Alpha Boys School in Kingston. Here he learned to play tenor saxophone, clarinet and flute. After working for some epochal cuts at Clement Seymour "Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One as for example Burning Spear's debut "Door Peep", in 1973 formed with Count Ossie The Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari. After the time spent with Ossie, Brooks recored "Im Flash Forward" (1977), a set produced by Dodd. Another important musical project developed in those years was the ensamble called "The Light Of Saba". One year later "United Africa" was released produced by Lloyd Chin-Loy. Brooks is for sure an unique figure inside the history of the Jamaican music. His musical interests had always been two: Nyahbingi and Jazz. The mixture of this pair could be unsound, but what emerged was sometimes very interesting. Both are strictly Black muisc, with the profound core imprinted by a hard-edged African sound. What is presented in this set allows both to express their force at alternate moments. The set opens with a huge and stellar instrumental version of the Abyssinians "Satta Massagana" (here strangely mispelled "Satta Masa Ganna"). The second track called "United Africa" is hard to define as the most part of the other tracks presented here. It is some sort of Jazz spiced by an introduction that states its African origins presented on an archetypical level. "African Medley" represents the same formula enforcing the African resembling mood. Follows "Silent Force". This track sounds like an Isaac Hayes composition and if this track would have appeared in Brooklyn, we would call it a blaxpoitation instrumental. This is Reggae Afro Jazz. Check this, it is a masterpiece. The fifth track is called "River Jordan". One definition is enough: Nyahbingi touching the deep nerves of an island that never forgot its origins. Unfortunately the track fades after only two minutes. Follows "Praises". Again Jazz takes control with a heavy strong set of horns shining. The set closes with "Elehreh". This final track brings in again Nyahbingi music as a way to underline the importance of Jamaican music in its purest form. Do not expect Reggae music. This set is only vaguely and slightly based on it. Its definition is hard to assess, but as stated before this album merges through different levels Jazz and Africa. Cedric "Im" Brooks had an edgy vision. Here it is.