Cedric Im Brooks on Studio One

Besides jazz, jump, jive, vintage r’n’b, gospel, Vinateg R’n’B and a little soul I also love rocksteady and reggae. And usually I refrain from coming up with some reggae on this here blog. But hey, it’s a very jazzy reggae coming up here!

Tenor saxophonist Cedric “Im” Brooks (1940–2013) was a member of Clement “Coxsone Downbeat” Dodd’s Studio One house band The Sound Dimension which played on many a jamaican hit record in the early 1970s.  Later Brooks together with legendary rastafari-drummer Count Ossie founded the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, a group that mixed Rastafarian chants, Nyabinghi drumming and jazzy licks.  In the mid seventies Brooks founded The Mystic Light Of Saba, a group that added  more jazz and funk to the reggae based melange. Many soul/funk DJs carry a MROR record in their bag.

I got to know Brook’s music after my friend Hubi lend me his copy of Brook’s only Studio One LP about five or six years ago.

ff

Well the first track was very nice. But when the second track started, I knew I had to get this LP for myself. Listen to “Give Rasta Glory”:

The third track was a beautiful rendition of the Abyssinians classic “Declaration Of Rights” called “Father Forgive”. B E A U T I F U L! I had heard enough and gave Hubi the LP back – and started to be on the look out for it.

And some two or three years later I could buy a copy at some record fair. Bad surprise when I came home: No “Father Forgive” here! In it’s place another track is repeated. Still a nice LP though.

Then i found the wonderful Downbeat Special pages, where I learned that my copy is a later press, missing “Father Forgive”, doubling the track “Free Man” and adding two tracks (“Right Down Rasta” and “Sister Enid”).

Now last week I saw another copy of “Fast Forward” at a local record store. So i dropped the needle and the third track was indeed “Father Forgive”, Yippieh!

This, the original jamaican pressing, was released in 1977 in an extreme split stereo – but it could have been recorded at anytime between 1977 and 1970, Brooks is improvising over classic Studio One Riddims. The rerelease with the two additional tracks is from 1989. And the added tracks sound slightly newer,  though “Sister Enid” was already mentioned on the sleeve of the first pressing (Neither sleeves nor labels of both pressings are right about what’s really to be heard, funnily they are wrong in different ways. If you ever handled more than half a dozen jamaican LPs you stop caring for titles and just enjoy the music. “Right Down Rasta” btw is a version of Junior Byles’/Lee Perry’s “Beat Down Babylon”Y.

You can distinguish the different pressings of the LP by the colors of the title on the front cover. The one pictured above is the 1989 pressing, on the earlier pressings the letters are not orange but have the same red that appears on the rest of the cover.

Anyway, if you have this LP you probably do not have both pressings, so you are either missing “Father Forgive” or – if you have the first press – “Right On Rasta” and “Sister Enid”.

Crown Propeller to the rescue!

Father Forgive:

Right On Rasta:

Sister Enid:

Enjoy!

3 Responses to “Cedric Im Brooks on Studio One”

  1. Great album in both guises….there simply isn’t enough of Cedric Brooks’ Studio One output available today…. The album ‘Money Maker’ will probably also be of interest to you, a mostly instrumental collection featuring Brooks, David Madden and Jackie Mittoo. Sadly, news of Cedric’s death passed me by without me hearing of it.

    • Oh, yes, “Money Maker”, a great album! I should have mentioned Brooks’ work with Dave Madden as “Im & Dave”. I have “Money Maker” just as mp3s, the album hardly appears for sale. I only learned of Brooks’ passing while looking up his birthdate

  2. Yes, Cedric Brooks, another great musician who passed through the Alpha Boys School along with Tommy McCook and many more fantastic jamaican instrumentalists who in turn became session musicians backing the cream of reggae artistes. R.I.P Mr Brooks.

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