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.
When You Might Be Surprised came out in 1985, Roy Ayers wasn't having as many hits as he had enjoyed in the late '70s. Ayers knew that if he didn't want to be accused of sounding dated, he needed to appeal to the urban contemporary tastes of 1985, so on this album he manages to update his approach without being untrue to himself. The production (some of it by James Mtume, some of it by Ayers himself) is high-tech and hip-hop influenced synthesizers and drum machines are prominent, and there are few horns and no strings. But Ayers still sounds distinctive on material that ranges from the clever single Programmed for Love and the funky Can I See You to the playful title song (a duet with singer Jean Carn).
In May 1990 Roy Ayers made his firsl appearance al Ronnie Scott's club in London's Frith Street, and a very sucessful debut it was. The sound of his band on that two week stay can be heard on JHCD 013 "Searchin", which was one of the first releases on the Ronnie Scott's Jazz House label in May 1991. At the beginning of the 90's Roy was, and indeed still is, a heavily featured artist in London's jazz dance clubs, where his own 'classics' from the 70's and 80's are constantly on the turntables as well as his earlier recordings being sampled on releases by a number of other artists.
Here is a great soulful funky album with Roy Ayers from the mid 90's, and he have a special guest invited to these sessions too, I'm talking of the fantastic James Moody that play some soprano sax, even if Harold Paris Robinson is the mayor sax player on the album, yeah everyone that like soul gonna enjoy this album too a lot, and it is fantastic to hear that Roy Ayers really could make some great music in the 90's too when a lot of 60's and 70's musicians really trap themself in the 90's machinery, yeah listen to this album and you'll understand what I mean with great soul of the 90's. The nasté ending on No More Trouble should be that way so it ain't nothing wrong with the file at all.
A holy grail of jazz – Roy Ayers' first album as a leader, and a near-lost session that's simply sublime! The record was cut at the same time that Roy was working in LA with pianist Jack Wilson – and it's got an approach that's a bit similar to some of the Wilson/Ayers sessions for Atlantic, Blue Note, and Vault – but with a marked difference here in the presence of Curtis Amy, who plays some incredible tenor and soprano sax on the session – arcing out over the modal lines set up by the vibes and piano, and shading in the record with a much deeper sense of soul! Amy plays on about half the album's tracks – all of which are standout modal tunes that preface the MPS/Saba sound by a number of years, and which we'd easily rank as some of the greatest jazz recorded anywhere in the 60s.
Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1987 album from the Jazz/Funk pioneer. I'm the One (For Your Love Tonight) was his final set for Columbia Records. Unlike it's predecessors for the label, Roy produced the album himself working with his then-bassist David Metcen who co-produced and contributed five songs to the nine-track set. Other Ayers' band members playing on the album included William Allen and Dennis Davis with long-time friend James Bedford contributing his songwriting talents on three songs.