Stoned Soul Picnic dates from the earlier part of Roy Ayers' career as a leader, before he delved heavily into R&B and funk fusions and instead concentrated more on soul-jazz grooves. Ayers leads a septet including such big names as pianist Herbie Hancock, altoist Gary Bartz, bassist Ron Carter, and flutist Hubert Laws. The Laura Nyro-penned title track foreshadows Ayers' later forays beyond the boundaries of pure jazz, and the group keeps the groove percolating nicely throughout, making Stoned Soul Picnic one of Ayers' better jazz-oriented outings.
This meeting of the minds and bands of Afro-funk creator Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and American vibist and R&B/jazz innovator Roy Ayers is a collaboration that shouldn't work on the surface. Fela's music was raw, in your face politically and socially, and musically driven by the same spirit as James Brown's JBs. At the time of this recording in 1979, Ayers had moved out of jazz entirely and become an R&B superstar firmly entrenched in the disco world. Ayers' social concerns – on record – were primarily cosmological in nature. So how did these guys pull off one of the most badass jam gigs of all time, with one track led by each man and each taking a full side of a vinyl album? On hand were Fela's 14-piece orchestra and an outrageous chorus made up of seven of his wives and five male voices.
A great album recorded in 1963 for Atlantic – one of our favorite ever! Jack Wilson's one of our favorite piano players, and we rave about him all the time on these pages – and one of the reasons why we love him so much is that he was often accompanied by Roy Ayers, who started out his career playing vibes in his group! The pair together are a dream, and this album is arguably their best effort – filled with moody modal cuts, and lots of lyrical interplay that hits these beautiful high points, then dives into pits of darkness. Titles include "Harbor Freeway", "De Critifeux", "Corcovado", "Jackleg", and "Nirvana & Dana".
A cool collection of work from one of our favorite artists ever – literally one of the guys whose music was so great. The package brings together a really hip assortment of Roy Ayers' best work for Polydor in the 70s – really incredible tracks that merge together jazz, soul, and funk at a level that nobody else can touch – not just the sum of the parts, but a sublime fusion that's completely Ayers-like, and which has gone onto inspire countless other folks over the years – even though nobody else can ever do it this well! The track selection is great – way hipper than the usual best-of on Roy – and titles include "And Don't You Say No", "Moving Grooving", "Come Out & Play", "Magic Lady", "Don't You Worry Bout A Thing", "Vibrations", "Tear To A Smile", "When Is Real Real", "Together", "He's A Superstar", and "He Gives Us All His Love".
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.