Cedric Brooks, the influential reggae saxophonist, dies at the age of 70 from cardiac arrest at New York Hospital in Queens. The musician was in a coma-like state since February, 2010.
His sister Paulette Keise said that her father was unable to speak for the last three years, and his communication was restricted to nodding of the head or eye movement.
Like many Jamaican horn players, Brooks got his training as a musician at the Alpha Boys School in Kingston.
One of his first major recordings was Burning Spear’s debut album for Studio One.
“Cedric came up during the dying days of the horn-driven band, so he had to find a new expression. The result was, he came up with a sound that was singular,” said Herbie Miller, curator of the Jamaica Music Museum.
Along with another Alpha old boy, trumpeter David Madden, Brooks had two big hit songs in the instrumentals Money Maker and Mystic Mood.
In the 1970s, he collaborated with Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari and led his own band, Light of Saba.
At the time, he fell ill Brooks was touring with the pioneer ska band, The Skatalites.
Brooks is survived by seven children and four sisters.