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Roy Ayers "Virgin Ubiquity II" (Rapster / BBE)

Throughout his 40+ year career, legendary “vibes master” Roy Ayers has remained a seminal icon whose vast repertoire has inspired and influenced countless generations of music connoisseurs. He’s been sampled by numerous hip-hop and r&b artists, including Mary J. Blige, Gangstarr, and Notorious B.I.G. and has worked with several contemporary dance, electronic and nu soul artists such as Erykah Badu, Masters At Work (Nuyorican Soul), Jazzanova and 4 Hero. Last year, Ayers granted UK indie BBE unprecedented access to his vaults to compile a selection of “lost” recordings from his fertile Polydor years (spanning from 1976-1981). For the 2nd installment, the label unearths another quality selection of unreleased treasures. The exquisitely remastered 13-song set features Ayers and friends — including bassist / longtime collaborator William Allen, and vocalists Mary Quaidon, Terry Wells, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Carla Vaughn — dispensing dynamic workouts saturated in smooth jazz vibes, dirty jazz-funk grooves, lush cosmic soul and vibrant dance rhythms. Virgin Ubiquity II is an essential addition to any music lover’s collection giving further credence to the genius of the undisputed jazz-funk soul pioneer.
Tracks like the cosmic, spoken-word invocation “I Am Your Mind Part 2,” “Come To Me” (which oozes 70’s “black love” sensuality), “Liquid Love,” the gritty instrumental “Funk In The Hole” and “Sunshine” (an early improvised demo of his timeless classic “Everybody Loves The Sunshine”) are daring, accessible and surprisingly contemporary (considering they were recorded more than 20 years ago). They offer another vivid reminder of Ayers’ immense and dynamic talents.

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