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Destination Motherland: The Roy Ayers Anthology

Roy Ayers

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Album Review

Destination Motherland is a two-CD, 33-track compilation of Roy Ayers' classics from the Polydor years — 1971-1981. Issued in the U.K., it replaces, in a sense, the retrospective Evolution: The Polydor Anthology issued in 1995 with a slightly bigger, more club-intense selection, as well as improved sound. Ayers was a politician of hip when it came to cultural mores and trends, and his tunes reflect his penchant for strutting and blurring the edges of jazz, funk, soul, and disco. He handpicked this set for Universal UK and as such, he tilts his choices toward the club set who rediscovered his work in the late 1990s. The jazzy grooves here bleed into tough disco, and silky R&B cuts into political funk and roll. While there isn't a dud in the whole lot, some of the true standouts are: "Running Away," "Searching," "Coffy Is the Color," "Red, Black and Green," "No Deposits, No Returns," "The Third Eye," "Sweet Tears [Disco Version]," "Africa, Center of the World," "Destination Motherland," "Fever"; a 12" mix of "Can't You See Me," and "Everybody Loves the Sunshine."

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...
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Destination Motherland: The Roy Ayers Anthology, Roy Ayers
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