On The Passing of Cedric "Im" Brooks, Jamaican Saxophonist
Cedric “Im” Brooks was a gentleman musician who spoke through his instrument. A generous and gifted man who inspired me. I vividly remember the first time I saw him play at the Creative Arts Centre on UWI Campus, and then many months later playing in his band on Campus and on many stages and in many places in Jamaica.
I fondly reminisce on our practices, especially practising in his yard, a place where music was the food of love as we played on and on. Cedric was the man who took me to Patrick City one Saturday in the shadows of the afternoon to a yard full of people and music and food and peace and love to see and hear musicians such bass man, Joe Ruglass, and to show me, in real time, the communal value of music.
As a young medical doctor in Jamaica, searching for the real remedies of life, Cedric lifted me up through the diverse places (including a prison yard) we visited in Jamaica playing his music, through the musical sounds I heard him create, and tried to create myself under his influence, through the life-long lessons of love and peace, and through the inner quietness of that warn and unique Cedric-smile and his bounteous, belly-full laughter. A musician without a sense of humour is a musician with no sense of time, and hence not a musician at all. Cedric could be jocular to the detriment of a jawbone.
My only regret is not keeping in touch with him after we left Jamaica. But Cedric taught me that listening to the music and taking the music back to its source, the people, is that cycle of life that all musicians must complete to be in harmony with each other and with “Im”.
Rest in peace dear master, teacher and friend.
Dr. Lester Simon