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Roy Ayers

Art Vandelay

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It's the big man's 80th birthday today so thought it was fitting he finally had his own topic. A man for all seasons and a total dude. Just post up cool videos and we'll hopefully find some stuff we haven't heard before.


Here's a video of him with a dream team of Dayme Arocena and Ed Motta in the South of France. 




And here's my favourite Roy tune if you asked me right now. Look at that outfit.



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  • 1 month later...

Man, I love Roy Ayers. I passed up a chance to see him play in Cleethorpes in the 90s, and have been kicking myself since. 

Until last year, that is, when he played a Sheffield gig. A bring your own booze outdoor affair in a shady grove on a hot summer afternoon. It was just perfect. Top 5 gig of all time. 


I'd only just come across his song 'Pretty Brown Skin' at the time, and while I can't quite remember if he played it (I brought a lot of my own booze), I don't recall being let down in any way whatsoever. So he may have played it. Good times, regardless. 



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Was lucky enough to see Mr Ayers last year at the Jazz Cafe. Still going strong. He's got such  a wide catalogue to choose from, but these two are my favourites;


Running Away. What more needs to be said. Stonewall classic groove



A cover at that as well!! The Sam Cooke classic You Send Me. Like Art said, that suit is killer and the hat too. Wish I had the style to cover it off! But what a great interpretation. Gives the shivers...



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I think that's the definitive version for me. One of the best covers ever in my opinion.


Here's another version excursion, possibly twice removed from Roy. Eighties Ladies being the first to do it. Heard this playing in Eldica in Hackney and had it bought within the first few bars of the intro. Such a tune. Shame they didn't go to the trouble of proof checking the cover.



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  • 5 weeks later...

I adore Roy Ayers on so many levels but had an amazing experience with him that I’ll treasure forever. 

So a couple of years back I was A&Ring an album project for “The Vision”, a project from Ben Westbeech & KON. It’s an awesome blend of house, funk, soul & disco. Ben’s lifetime hero is Roy so he was always the No1 dream guest for the album so I got amongst trying to see if I could make it happen. Roy was in London for a couple of Jazz Cafe dates & I was desperately trying to lock in availability/commercials for a possible studio session but it wasn’t looking good. Then at about 3pm on a the Sunday I get a call saying Roy can do the session tonight but they wanted paid in cash, not an easy thing to magic up at this time on a Sunday. Cue a lot of scrambling & borrowing a bit from here & there to be paid back the next day with the banks open & we were a go.


I picked Roy up from his hotel in North London & the studio was in Southwark. So to pass the time Roy gave me a CD of his own music & basically sang it to me the whole way there. I wish that car journey had lasted forever. Driving around London on a Sunday night having an all time musical legend sing at you was just unreal. 

We got the studio, got him set up & he just played those vibes. So sick hearing him working out riffs, trying things out on the fly. So fucking dope.


The session was great, gave him his envelope of cash, signed his paperwork & back to the hotel we went, singing all the way back. What a absolute honour & a joy.


 The record from that night only just came out. 

& a couple of videos from the session here...



& Me evidently buzzing to be with him


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