Roy Ayers  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Roy Ayers (born September 10, 1940, Los Angeles) is a funk, soul and jazz vibraphone player.

Often called the "Godfather of acid jazz" because of his popularity in England in the '80s, Roy Ayers may be best known for his song "Everybody Loves the Sunshine", the title track to his 1976 effort which has been sampled by numerous hip-hop artists including 'Queen Of Hip-Hop Soul', Mary J. Blige's multi-platinum, "My Life", as well as "Wake Up (Reprise in the Sunshine)" by hip hop group, Brand Nubian. "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" and the acclaimed "Daylight" appeared on 1977's Come into Knowledge, an album which was recorded by RAMP, (sometimes known as Roy Ayers Musical Productions) and released on the Blue Thumb Records (both tracks are also available on the 1998's Mellow Mellow, a compilation by Harmless Records.)

Other notable songs by Ayers include "Running Away", "Searching", "We Live in Brooklyn", "Don't Stop The Feeling", "Poo Poo La La" and "Sensitize" (co-written by Ayers protege' Wayne K. Garfield) which was sampled by rap star, Black Rob, in his debut platinum-plus cd title song, "Life Story". Roy Ayers recorded and toured with Nigerian superstar, Fela Kuti in the 1970s. The duo covered another Ayers song collaboration with Garfield-the provocative, "2000 Black" (Got To Be Free) from the international smash cd, "Africa-Center Of The World". It is worth noting that artist-writer-producer, Jazzy B of the hit act, Soul II Soul, mentioned during a group appearance on the famed-American music television show, "Soul Train", that the inspiration to form the band came from listening to "Africa-Center Of The World". Ayers was also responsible for the soundtrack to Jack Hill's 1973 blaxploitation film Coffy which starred Pam Grier.

Biography

At the age of five, Lionel Hampton gave him his first pair of mallets, which led to the vibraphone being his trademark sound for decades. The area of Los Angeles Ayers grew up in, now known as "South Central", but then known as "South Park", was the epicenter of the Southern California Black Music Scene. The schools Roy attended (Wadsworth Elementary, Nevins Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson High School) were all close to the famed Central Avenue, Los Angeles' equivalent of Harlem's Lenox Avenue and Chicago's State Street. On any given day, Roy would have been likely to be exposed to music as it not only emanated from the many nightclubs and bars in the area, but also poured out of many of the homes where the musicians who kept the scene alive stayed in and around Central. Thomas Jefferson High School, from which Ayers graduated, gave to the music and jazz worlds some of its brightest stars like Dexter Gordon and Ginger Smock Shipp. This is perhaps where Roy contracted the infection of music that still courses through his veins today.

Trivia

Discography

  • West Coast Vibes (United Artists) – 1963
  • Virgo Vibes (Atlantic) – 1967
  • Daddy Bug & Friends (Atlantic) – 1967
  • Stoned Soul Picnic (32 Jazz) – 1968
  • Daddy’s Back (Atco) – 1969
  • He’s Coming (Polydor) – 1971
  • Ubiquity (Polydor) – 1971
  • Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival (Verve) – 1972
  • Coffy (soundtrack) (Polydor) - 1973
  • Virgo Red (Polydor) – 1973
  • Change Up The Groove (Polydor) – 1974
  • A Tear To A Smile (Polydor) – 1975
  • Mystic Voyage (Polydor) – 1975
  • Everybody Loves the Sunshine (Polydor) - 1976
  • Red, Black And Green (Polydor) – 1976
  • Vibrations (Polydor) – 1976
  • Crystal Reflections (Muse) – 1977
  • Lifeline (Polydor) – 1977
  • Let’s Do It (Polydor) – 1978
  • Step Into Our Life (Polydor) – 1978
  • You Send Me (Polydor) – 1978
  • Fever (Polydor) – 1979
  • Love Fantasy (Polydor) – 1980
  • No Stranger To Love (Polydor) – 1980
  • Prime Time (Polydor) – 1980
  • Music Of Many Colors (With Fela Kuti) (Celluloid) – 1980
  • Africa, Center Of The World (Polydor) – 1981
  • Feelin’ Good (Polydor) – 1981
  • In The Dark (Columbia) – 1984
  • You Might Be Surprised (Columbia) – 1985
  • I’m The One (For Your Love Tonight) (Columbia) – 1987
  • Searchin’ (Live) (Ronnie Scott's Jazz House) – 1991
  • Drive (Ichiban) – 1992
  • Wake Up (Ichiban) – 1992
  • Double Trouble (With Rick James) (Uno Melodic) – 1992
  • Good Vibrations (Live) (Ronnie Scott's Jazz House) – 1993
  • Fast Money (Live At Ronnie Scott’s) (Castle) – 1994
  • Vibesman (Live At Ronnie Scott’s) (Music Club) – 1995
  • Nasté (Groovetown) – 1995
  • Hot (Live At Ronnie Scott’s) (Ronnie Scott's Jazz House) – 1996
  • Spoken Word (AFI) – 1998
  • Lots Of Love (Charly) – 1998
  • Juice (Charly) – 1999
  • Live At Ronnie Scott’s (DVD Audio) (Castle) – 2001
  • For Café Après-midi (Universal Japan) – 2002
  • Virgin Ubiquity: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 (Rapster) – 2004
  • Mahogany Vibe (Rapster) – 2004
  • Virgin Ubiquity II: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 (Rapster) – 2005
  • Virgin Ubiquity Remixed (Rapster) – 2006
  • Perfection (Aim) – 2006




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Roy Ayers" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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