Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer
Saxophonist Cedric 'Im' Brooks, who was admitted to a New York City hospital in a coma three weeks ago, is recovering but remains in critical condition.
In a statement issued Sunday, Brooks' son Wayne said his father is still hospitalised at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital but was transferred on March 1 from its intensive care unit.
"He was transferred to a different floor to better monitor his respiratory needs. Although he is now opening his eyes, his condition is still considered critical," Wayne Brooks said.
The 67-year-old Brooks has been a patient at the hospital since February 18. He was admitted there after a relative found him unconscious in his apartment in the Bronx.
According to the younger Brooks, doctors at Bronx Lebanon said his father's illness stemmed from a "severe case of pneumonia which led to other complications".
At the time of his illness, Brooks was scheduled to tour Asia and Australia with legendary ska band, The Skatalites. He has been a member of the band since 1998.
Wayne Brooks said his father was also heading a reunion of his Light of Saba band which recorded critically acclaimed albums during the 1970s.
Like several members of The Skatalites, Brooks is a past student of the Alpha Boys School in east Kingston. It was there that he learned to play the saxophone and flute, among other instruments.
After leaving Alpha, Brooks went on to record as a session musician with producer Clement Dodd at Studio One. One of his first major assignments came in 1969 with a new act named Burning Spear on the song Door Peep.
One year later, Brooks and trumpeter David Madden, another Alpha graduate, had a hit with the instrumental Money Maker.
Brooks recorded for several years with the influential group, Mystic Revelation of Rastafari. He appears on their highly regarded Grounation album.