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Destination Motherland - The Roy Ayers Anthology

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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."

Customer Reviews

The best Roy Ayers collection out there.

Leave it to the Brits to show appreciation for our classic American musicians. This album was the result of a resurgent interest in Ayers. After doing his stint with NuYorican Soul (Masters At Work) for the eponymous debut in 1997 the doors were blown wide open. Along with James Brown he has got to be one of the most sampled musicians in Hip Hop. His vision is clearly ubiquitous and this compilation gives you 33 platters of music to prove it. Collaborating with a variety of musicians on the jazz, funk and world tip Roy is a citizen of the planet. Ron Carter, Joe Henderson, Herbie Mann, Gary Bartz and even Fela Kuti had no problem collaborating. His body of work would prove to be an invaluable source of inspiration for the like of Mary J Blige, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Mos Def, Tribe Called Quest, Digable Planets, Jamiroquai and more. What's great is that the tracks are all remastered unlike the American "Evolution: The Polydor Years" compilation. It also features a slew of 12" versions like the classic "Running Away", "Our Time is Coming" and the original "Sweet Tears". This and both "Virgin Ubiquity: The Unreleased Recordings" Volumes 1 & 2 are must haves.




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 frequently...
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