Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Half Moon honours the greats

Published:Friday | December 23, 2016 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry
Guy Steuart III (left), chairman of the Half Moon board of directors, engages Ed Bartlett, minister of tourism, in conversation at Jazz and Cocktails.
Farlene Kellond poses for our camera.
Clarence ‘Tootsie’ Bean (right), the drummer who was part of the album producing band, signing his name to the cover of the album’s new digital copy as Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, looks on.
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The Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay recently added another piece of legacy to its rich history by officially incorporating the very first music album produced by the famed record label, Island Records.

The album was done by that of the hotel's very own in-house jazz band led by the late Bermudian pianist Lance Hayward back in the 1950s.

On Saturday night, however, Half Moon paid homage to the band members, as well as Chris Blackwell, the founder of the recording label, by hosting a historical retrospective celebration for the band and its work and publicly exhibiting the original copies of the album.

"It is just amazing that the first record produced under that famous brand that brought us so many great acts like Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, the very first he (Blackwell) produced under the Island Records label was the house band at the Half Moon Hotel," stated and excited Guy Steuart, chairman of Half Moon.

"This is a strong night of thanks, jazz, community, camaraderie, the music, the culture and its history," he added.

Along with Blackwell, who was in attendance, were Hayward's children, Stuart and Silvia as well as Clarence 'Tootsie' Bean, the original drummer when the band recorded the album in 1959.

"This is just the most spectacular way to honour my father, and I can't say thank you enough to Guy," stated Silvia.

Blackwell and Bean also lauded Guy and the resort, for their efforts on securing the original vinyl album and making digital copies.

The four special guests later added their signatures to the new digital copies of the album, which are currently on display at the hotel for all local and international guests to enjoy.