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Roy Ayers

Once one of the most visible and winning jazz vibraphonists of the 1960s, then an R&B bandleader in the 1970s and '80s, Roy Ayers' reputation s now that of one of the prophets of acid jazz, a man decades ahead of his time. A tune like 1972's "Move to Groove" by the Roy Ayers Ubiquity has a crackling backbeat that serves as the prototype for the shuffling hip-hop groove that became, shall we say, ubiquitous on acid jazz records; and his relaxed 1976 song "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" has been frequently sampled. Yet Ayers' own playing has always been rooted in hard bop: crisp, lyrical, rhythmically resilient. His own reaction to being canonized by the hip-hop crowd as the "Icon Man" is tempered with the detachment of a survivor in a rough business. "I'm having fun laughing with it," he has said. "I don't mind what they call me, that's what people do in this industry."

Growing up in a musical family -- his father played trombone, his mother taught him the piano -- the five-year-old Ayers was given a set of vibe mallets by Lionel Hampton, but didn't start on the instrument until he was 17. He got involved in the West Coast jazz scene in his early 20s, recording with Curtis Amy (1962), Jack Wilson (1963-1967), and the Gerald Wilson Orchestra (1965-1966); and playing with Teddy Edwards, Chico Hamilton, Hampton Hawes and Phineas Newborn. A session with Herbie Mann at the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach led to a four-year gig with the versatile flutist (1966-1970), an experience that gave Ayers tremendous exposure and opened his ears to styles of music other than the bebop that he had grown up with.

After being featured prominently on Mann's hit Memphis Underground album and recording three solo albums for Atlantic under Mann's supervision, Ayers left the group in 1970 to form the Roy Ayers Ubiquity, which recorded several albums for Polydor and featured such players as Sonny Fortune, Billy Cobham, Omar Hakim, and Alphonse Mouzon. An R&B-jazz-rock band influenced by electric Miles Davis and the Herbie Hancock Sextet at first, the Ubiquity gradually shed its jazz component in favor of R&B/funk and disco. Though Ayers' pop records were commercially successful, with several charted singles on the R&B charts for Polydor and Columbia, they became increasingly, perhaps correspondingly, devoid of musical interest.

In the 1980s, besides leading his bands and recording, Ayers collaborated with Nigerian musician Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, formed Uno Melodic Records, and produced and/or co-wrote several recordings for various artists. As the merger of hip-hop and jazz took hold in the early '90s, Ayers made a guest appearance on Guru's seminal Jazzmatazz album in 1993 and played at New York clubs with Guru and Donald Byrd. Though most of his solo records had been out of print for years, Verve issued a two-CD anthology of his work with Ubiquity and the first U.S. release of a live gig at the 1972 Montreux Jazz Festival; the latter finds the group playing excellent straight-ahead jazz, as well as jazz-rock and R&B. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi
full bio

Comments

lingal17
Loving this! Been a fan since the '70's. Very nice groove.
Perfect treatment for the insane mind
tamyabonet2
get it right! Mary did not write the lyrics for Roy's Searching, she used parts of the song for one of her cds so give her and Roy credit on her CD but not on his song on his own CD.

YOU guys got it wrong here!!!
Songwriters: MARY J. BLIGE, ROY AYERS, FRED III JERKINS, RODNEY JERKINS,
XENIS DA COSTA, LA TONYA BLIGE DA COSTA
tamyabonet2
amazing man
smooth and kool
Very inspiring... . . . . a n talented.... .
Wow......... . v e r y relaxing
Hyp-Not-Ic indeed! I almost could not find my way back from being inside the music.
So hypnotic
Cruisin' tune, this one is on the " cruisin tunes " tape.
Capt. Slow will beat the stig in a race in his 1972 Caddy calais, the stig can drive anything against it, omit the 2014 Maserati Quattraporti though.
Man can he play the vibraphone, classic Roy Ayers
Funky and smooth
Only classic stuff is worth listening to, this tune proves it.
just lovely!!
He has a gift not many musicans have ; he is both a entertainer and artist . You already know how good he is on his recording . But when you see his performance live , you get the complete package . Mo power to ya Brother !
My Life In The Sunshine Is A Wonderful By Roy Ayers. From: Joseph Singer.
Sparkling! and Crystal clear! Like a Cool Gin and Tonic!
fan since the late 70's music still sounds nice and smooth.
controversyw r i t e r s 9 9 9
glad i met him when radio was good and when i was reporter! go Roy!
My main man
I love Everybody Love the Sunshine
Roy Ayers has that sweet-soulfu l - s m o o t h - s e x y - s o u n d , a jazz groove that takes you wherever he wants to lead us and we surrender. Love me some Roy Ayers, yeah lead me to a Mystic Voyage!
rickkalexand e r
This Cat...
Wow
we live in Brooklyn, baby ...
Ole school,, get down.
Rooster approve
Was a fan ever since Everybody Loves The Sunshine
gmorgan104
In the early 70's I listened to everything under the sun, from Roy Ayers to Frank Zappa! I've always enjoyed music from all walks of life, but Roy Ayers gave med different way to hear music and I've always enjoyed not only his recordings, but as well. his live performances . As specially when he used to close out the summer in the park concert series held @ Ft. Dupont Park in Washington DC.
tharris92
Love your music, back in the day this was the bomb, and still is the bomb, because I still listen to your music. This is what music is all about, it can be copied, but will never sound the same. You have a unique way of making music that makes people feel good!!!!!!!! !
Roy is an incredible artist and one of the most down-to-eart h superstars that you will ever meet. We hung out with him a few years ago after one of his concerts at Center Stage here in Atlanta. Good people.
amcgroves
Both me and AMCGROVES(I' m DSCGROVES) feel the same!...
amcgroves
I've been digging Mr Ayers fo over 25 years!.I went to Northeastern University starting in fall of 1975....and have been vibin with him ever since!...but remember YOU HAVE TO HEAR HIM!.....he' s not a SMOOTH JAZZ artist....he ' s an JAZZ PHENOM!...LO V E YOU ROY!....
LIQUID LOVE...NUFF SAID
DIDNT KNOW ROY GOT HEAVY...MELL O W ROY IS WHASHAPPENIN . . . B U T HEAVY ROY...BIG DAWG WIT IT...WHO KNEW VIBES CAN BE SO HEAVY!!!!!!
awesome ability, to be able to make one calm down, take a breath and take it all in with music. That is Mr. Roy Ayers
The brother is 71 years old and continues to SMOKE . His latest is a song called , I wanna kiss you on your poo poo la la .
He is a MAESTRO! I can not wait until he comes to Blues Alley in DC late January. I will be there! He comes every year around this same time...
no like him...smooth and too chill.
Roy Ayers is the bomb.
This Brother is very gifted
loved his stuff from the 70' s. still do. definitely the vibe master.
Always a pleasure to hear Roy. He takes me back to memories of a beautiful time in my life.
Old school true; yep.
flopotrmorga n
Roy Ayers'has been in my life since the early 70's. He never gets old to me. He's brought me through many lonely nights. And helped party like never before. He now has been in my family for 3 generations. I passed him down to my sons to all my grandsons. THANK YOU ROY
"Roy Ayers". The sound of it. What does that feel like? Smooth? Cool? Relaxing? Roy Ayers. For me, time and space almost shift. Roy Ayers. Man. Dig the effect (affect?), to earn this place.
eddysbeejay
His ability with the mallets and his swirling mind in choice of melody is mesmerizing. . .
The MAN...enough said...
just for old times
Bring IT Roy!!!!
page1357
it goes from Jazz to R&B than Soul to Funk pleasure for the ears!
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