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Vibrations

Roy Ayers

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Album Review

Whenever someone makes the transition from jazz instrumentalist to R&B singer, he/she is bound to be lambasted by jazz purists and denounced as a sellout. Roy Ayers was no exception — like George Benson, George Duke, and Patrice Rushen, Ayers was frequently attacked by jazz's hardcore in the late '70s for turning away from instrumental jazz and making vocal-oriented soul and funk his main focus. But what didn't interest jazz snobs excited R&B lovers, who found a lot to admire about Vibrations and other Ayers albums from that period. This 1976 LP boasted the moody hit "Searching," which has jazz overtones but is essentially an R&B song, and the title track which has become nothing less less than a funky soul classic. Ayers and his band Ubiquity are also quite appealing on gems that range from the sweaty, driving funk of "One Sweet Love to Remember," "Moving Grooving," "Higher," and "Domelo (Give It to Me)," to mellow quiet storm numbers like "Baby, You Give Me a Feeling" and "Baby, I Need Your Love." With Vibrations, Ayers reminded us that jazz's loss was certainly soul/funk's gain.

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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Vibrations, Roy Ayers
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