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ROY AYERS

Adrian Younge, Ali Shaheed Muhammad & Roy Ayers

Roy Ayers

    In February 2018, Roy Ayers performed four sold out shows in Los Angeles as part of the Jazz Is Dead Black History Month series. It wasn’t until 2020 that fans of Ayers discovered that in addition to those shows, the legendary vibraphone player had also recorded an entire album of new material with Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad.

    Over the course of its eight original compositions, written collaboratively by Younge, Shaheed Muhammad & Ayers and recorded at Younge’s Linear Labs in Los Angeles, the resulting album sounds both like an unearthed an unreleased album from Ayers’ classic period in the 1970s (which produced the oft-sampled “Red, Black & Green,” “We Live In Brooklyn, Baby,” “Everybody Loves The Sunshine,” and “Running Away), as well as something startling, new and unexpected. Joining Ayers, Younge & Shaheed Muhammad onthis musical journey are drummer Greg Paul, vocalists Loren Oden, Joy Gilliam, Saudia Yasmein, Elgin Clark & Anitra Castleberry, as well as Phil Ranelin & Wendell Harrison of the legendary Spiritual Jazz label Tribe Records.

    The 8 tracks on this album testify to the love not only of a legendary musician’s legacy, but to the vitality & necessity of this music and these sounds in the present era, a thread that will likely run throughout all of the upcoming releases from Jazz Is Dead Records. 

    Roy Ayers

    Virgin Ubiquity II: Unreleased Recordings 1976 - 1981

      BBE Music announces the first repress of the classic Roy Ayers albums ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ 1 and 2 since 2006, on luxurious 180g vinyl with brand new sleeve notes written by Sean P. The music on 'Virgin Ubiquity' was selected and mixed down from previously unreleased multi-tracks recorded between 1976 & 1981, which Roy had in storage. It's all unmistakably Ayers, but is diverse and fresh enough to be more than a mere adjunct to one of his most productive and popular periods - testament to his and his musicians' creative abilities, as much of most revered Ayers output stems from this time. These discoveries take their place beside some illustrious company in a timeline bookended by 'Everybody Loves The Sunshine' and 'Africa, Center Of The World', several solo and Ubiquity albums, collaborations with Wayne Henderson & Fela Kuti, as well as guesting on LPs by Buster Williams and Herbie Mann. Out of print on vinyl and CD for over a decade now, BBE is delighted to re- present these groundbreaking Roy Ayers titles, neatly coinciding with the 45th anniversary of his classic album ‘Mystic Voyage’.

      Roy Ayers Ubiquity

      Fikisha / Boogie Back

      Plucked from the B-side of Roy's 1974 "Change Up The Groove" LP and pressed loud on 7" for the first time by those fine folks at Dynamite Cuts, "Fikisha" and "Boogie Back" are a pair of bona fide dancers. On the A-side, "Fikisha" is the kind of jazzy, vibe-a-thon which shows Roy at the peak of his powers, while the funk heavy "Boogie Back" is more of an ensemble affair with a sing-a-long vocal. 

      This is the first ever reissue of Roy Ayers' 1983 album 'Silver Vibrations'. Originally released in the UK only on Uno Melodic Records, 'Silver Vibrations' shares some of its musical DNA with 'Lots Of Love', Ayers' US album from the same year. However, 'Silver Vibrations' contains four unique cuts all of its own, plus extended takes of three songs, including the definitive version of iconic song 'Chicago'. The rarity of the original pressing has led to eye-watering second-hand prices for this truly brilliant LP. 'Silver Vibrations' was perhaps the last album to retain the sound of Ayers' organic 'classic' period of the latter '70s and manages to stand up well under its current re-evaluation. "Chicago", the unedited version of which is exclusive to this L.P., received considerable airplay in its time and has barely faded from earshot ever since; its woozy, mysterious vibe and cosmic ruminations from Roy in the second half have certainly endured. The strutting, funky "Good, Good Music" echoes Ayers at his pre-'80s, up-tempo disco peak, sporting a grittier edge and an old-school party atmosphere. Title track "Silver Vibrations" was only ever released in the U.K., both on this album and as a single, backed with "Fast Money". Both "Lots Of Love" and "Keep On Movin'" hark back to previous times and are a pleasant listen without being at all taxing. "Smiling With Our Eyes" is mid-tempo, lilting and jazzy, with a vocal vaguely reminiscent of Stevie Wonder in places. The wistful "D.C. City", a close companion of Ubiquity's original recording of "The Third Eye" is, in many ways, quintessentially Roy Ayers. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      David says: Overdue reissue of this Roy classic. Worth buying purely for 'Chicago'. One of his finest moments it's been sampled and re-edited more times than his lawyers can count.

      Roy Ayers

      Virgo Vibes - 180g Vinyl Edition

      Vibraphonist Roy Ayers made his international breakthrough as bandleader of Roy Ayers Ubiquity, a highly influential jazz-funk outfit counted Billy Cobham and Alphonse Mouzon among its members. But even before ‘Ubiquity’, Ayers had already proven his music chops playing with the likes of Herbie Mann, Gary Bartz, Hubert Laws and Herbie Hancock. Hancock joins Ayers under his pseudonym Ronnie Clark on 1967’s 'Virgo Vibes', a jazzy hard-bop album that seems miles away from Ayers distinctive jazz-R&B fusion he would become famous for. However, there’s a typical ‘Ayers vibe’ on 'Virgo Vibes', a relaxed and sunny record that any Jazz collector should own!


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