Magical Light of Saba

Magical Light of Saba

Honest Jon's Records
~Cedric Brooks & the Light of Saba

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Honest Jon's Records

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further info

Official Release Date Nov 10, 2009
Artist Cedric Brooks & the Light of Saba
Genre Pop
Version  US
PAX-Code PAX0004931598
Item Code  4047179152617

track listing

1. Lamb's Bread Collie2. Sabasi3. Free Up Black Man4. Outcry5. Salt Lane Rock6. Sabebe7. Nobody's Business8. Rasta Lead on Version9. Sabayindah10. Rebirth11. Satta Massa Gana12. Africa13. Sound14. Sly Mongoose15. Words of Wisdom16. Jah Light It Right17. Ethiopia Tikdem18. Song for My Father19. Collie Version


It's hard not to gush with admiration when confronted with the music of Cedric Im Brooks & the Light of Saba. It's true fusion music that takes what it wants from jazz, salsa, and African traditions and bends them into a new form without ever breaking. A noted Jamaican jazz player and reggae session saxophonist, Brooks formed his band Light of Saba in the late '60s after a brief stay in Philadelphia. During his time there Brooks sat in at clubs impressing players with his Caribbean jazz style. Eventually he encountered Sun Ra, whose complex mix of classic big band, avant-garde jazz and Egyptology resonated with the musically adventurous sax player. He was also tuned into the seismic rumblings of Fela Kuti, the continent leveling jazz advances of Hugh Masekela and most importantly, the music traditions, both rural (nyahbinghi) and urban (reggae), of his Jamaican homeland. Initially, Light of Saba incorporated nyahbinghi drums, but finding the rhythms too rigid and restrictive and being familiar with the pied piper of drums, Olatunje, Brooks widened the percussive umbrella to include a number of African drumming traditions. The results of these spiritually inclined fusions of African, Jamaican, and American musics eventually made it to record and this collection from Honest Jon's gathers these rare, magical sides on to one disc. Magical from the very start, it opens with "Lamb's Bread Collie," setting the tone with phased keyboards, hissing hi hat and chirping birds as the bed for Calvin "Bubbles" Cammron's lilting trombone lead; it's a spacious cosmic sound that could best be compared to discovering a lost recording of Lonnie Liston Smith sitting in with the Fela's Africa 70 band. Horace Silver's classic "Song for My Father" provides an excellent platform for Brooks to showcase his jazz chops, which mix well over the decidedly chunky reggae pulse of the group. "Nobody's Business" and "Sly Mongoose" are two Afro-Calypsos, a style of Jamaican music that sounds fluid and vital here (maybe it's the army of drummers backing up the breezy melodies) despite its maligned status as the sound of cruise ships and tourist traps. In fact there isn't a song here that doesn't include some fantastic crossover moments that redefine what is possible, nor is there a song that doesn't pull it off with resounding flair


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