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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Everybody Loves The Sunshine

Disc 1

1. Everybody Loves The Sunshine

2. And Then We Were One

3. You've Got The Power

8. Fast Money

9. Chicago

10. E-Funk

12. Rapped Up In Your Love

14. Suave

Disc 2

4. Black Family

5. Lots Of Love

8. D.C. City

11. Sweet Talk

12. Drive

14. Mystic Vibrations

15. Running Away

x

Track List: Roy Ayers Virgin Ubiquity

1. Boogie Down

2. What's the T?

3. I Really Love You

4. Oh What A Lonely Feeling

5. Sugar

6. Mystery Of Love

7. Green And Gold

8. Brand New Feeling

9. I Did It In Seattle

10. Mystic Voyage

11. I Just Wanna Give It Up

12. Together Forever

13. I Am Your Mind

x

Track List: Daddy Bug/Virgo Vibes

1. Daddy Bug

2. Bonita

3. This Guy's In Love With You

4. I Love You Michelle

5. Shadows

6. Emmie

7. Look To The Sky

8. It Could Only Happen With You

9. The Ringer

10. Ayerloom

11. In The Limelight

13. Glow Flower

x

Track List: A Tear To A Smile

1. 2000 Black

2. Magic Lady

3. Show Us A Feeling

4. Ebony Blaze

6. No Question

7. The Way Of The World

8. The Old One Two (Move To The Groove)

9. Miles (Love's Silent Dawn)

10. A Tear To A Smile

x

Track List: Sugar - The Reflex Revision & Instrumental (Single)

1. Sugar (The Reflex Revision)

2. Sugar (The Reflex Instrumental)

Comments

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akphotophoto
I'm a 16 year old boy and Roy is one of my most favorite artists of all time. Sooo under rated
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One of the KINGS OF THIS HERE JAZZ GAME......NO STUFF!
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malinda.flow e r s
Lovin' that baseline!
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Roy Ayers...The Best
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Soul
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One of the best days I've had at work in awhile the tempo is just right ❤️
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Have loved this for YEARS!
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❤❤❤����
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Beautiful music
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Smooth, That's it right there. BAR Keep.
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����
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True soul
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Hadn't heard this version before. I really like this!
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roylee05
The man!!
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love this station...bu t where is you send me!!
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Liquid love ....love this jam!
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I've never heard a song with two words for lyrics jam sooooo hard! Liquid Love........ . . . . . . . . ............ . . . . . . . . .
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I've been listening to Roy Ayers since the mid-1970s while I was in the USAF!!!! He had his band "Ubiquity".. . . You folks are late....
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The man is awesome in person!
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walksinwater 7
Roy Ayers has been in the forefront of R&B. Its no wonder th hat his music transcend to this period and time. Congrats to those producers and DJ's for finding and reinventing orx simply adding to to masterful work's of music.
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Tyler the creator brought me hear
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harvellbless e d
I love it all
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This is music at its best sit back relax and enjoy yourself
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This is coolest sounding shiiiiattttt ever. I want everyone try to picture this scene. Open a Door, and part the wooden beads, that are draping... Notice a red light, incense, with a velvet poster of a naked sista with a blk panther adorned by a full moon. Mind you, this music is playing, she breaks out cold wine(screw off cap) and one ice cube. Ghetto as all hell..... I LOVE it!!! LoL.
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Coffee is the Color of my Skin.....
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Man with a plan
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"Everybody Loves The Sunshine" remains a favorite.
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gailcarter19 4 7
Search searching
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lingal17
Loving this! Been a fan since the '70's. Very nice groove.
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Perfect treatment for the insane mind
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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
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tamyabonet2
amazing man
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smooth and kool
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Very inspiring... . . . . a n talented.... .
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Wow......... . v e r y relaxing
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Hyp-Not-Ic indeed! I almost could not find my way back from being inside the music.
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So hypnotic
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Cruisin' tune, this one is on the " cruisin tunes " tape.
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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.
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Man can he play the vibraphone, classic Roy Ayers
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Funky and smooth
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Only classic stuff is worth listening to, this tune proves it.
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just lovely!!
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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 !
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My Life In The Sunshine Is A Wonderful By Roy Ayers. From: Joseph Singer.
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Sparkling! and Crystal clear! Like a Cool Gin and Tonic!
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fan since the late 70's music still sounds nice and smooth.
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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!
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My main man
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I love Everybody Love the Sunshine
Show more

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