Tuesday, April 03, 2007
by Richard S. Ginell
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. ...
+ info: www.royayers.com