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Virgin Ubiquity

Roy Ayers

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Album Review

Given that Roy Ayers really never left the spotlight, it would be inappropriate to call any sort of rediscovery or renaissance of his music a comeback. However, the resurgence of interest in the jazz musician's expansive and innovative catalog has prompted ears both new and old to give Ayers his long overdue credit as a soul-jazz pioneer. This two-disc set features remixes from BBE's excellent Virgin Ubiquity, Vol. 2: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981, and brings a veritable A-list who's who of soul/electronic/downtempo remixers to the plate. House gurus Kenny Dope and Osunlade offer up heavy sessions of tasteful grooves without overshadowing the genius of the original tracks. King Britt also contributes a strong reinterpretation of "Kwajilori," while DJ Spinna and the Platinum Pied Pipers focus their remixes more toward the downtempo/hip-hop crowd. At two discs in length, normally a project of this size could be trimmed to a single disc for an excellent release. But there's something for everyone here, regardless of your subgenre affiliation. At least it's not remixing the classics in a feeble attempt to update an artist's catalog, and that in itself is a breath of fresh air.

Biography

Born: 10 September 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...
Full bio