Remembering Cedric Brooks:
Few musicians have demonstrated the transformative power of the saxophone like Cedric Brooks. A prolific saxophonist whose influence has permeated the realms of ska and reggae music, Brooks was a driving force behind The Light of Saba, a Jamaican collective that fused reggae with jazz and traditional rhythms. As we remember Cedric Brooks, who passed on May 3, 2013, we explore the depth of Brooks’s contribution to ska, reggae, and his work with The Light of Saba.
Brooks’s mastery of the saxophone was at the heart of his contribution to ska music. His performances were characterized by energetic solos, innovative rhythms, and a distinct style that blended the raw energy of ska with the sophistication of jazz. His ability to infuse ska music with complex jazz influences was groundbreaking and helped to elevate the genre to new heights.
In the realm of reggae, Brooks’s saxophone playing was equally influential. His emotive melodies and soulful solos added depth and complexity to reggae music. Brooks’s unique interpretation of reggae, characterized by thoughtful improvisation and a rich tonal palette, made him a central figure in the genre’s development.
The Light of Saba, a group founded by Brooks, marked a significant milestone in his career. Under his leadership, the collective merged elements of reggae, jazz, and traditional Jamaican folk rhythms, creating a unique sound that transcended musical boundaries. Brooks’s saxophone was the driving force behind The Light of Saba’s music, embodying the group’s commitment to musical innovation and cultural fusion.