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Virgo Vibes

Roy Ayers

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Album Review

Long before he switched to playing disco and pop music, Roy Ayers was considered a promising young jazz vibraphonist. This LP, his second as a leader, was one of his finest. On four of the five selections (obscurities and pieces by group members), Ayers teams up with trumpeter Charles Tolliver, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Reggie Workman, drummer Bruno Carr, and the mysterious pianist Ronnie Clark (Herbie Hancock under a disguised name). On "Glow Flower," Ayers and Tolliver are joined by Harold Land on tenor, pianist Jack Wilson, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Donald Bailey. The music is primarily advanced hard bop with some freer moments on Tolliver's "The Ringer." This underrated music is long overdue to be reissued on CD and displays Roy Ayers' long before he was known as an R&B artist.

Biography

Born: September 10, 1940 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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Virgo Vibes, Roy Ayers
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