Roy Ayers - Virgin Ubiquity: 1976 – 1981 volumes 1 & 2

Roy Ayers – Virgin Ubiquity: 1976 – 1981 volumes 1 & 2

To behold rare material from the great career of Ayers is to unfurl a volley of magnificently laid out soul, funk and rare groove ditties wrapped wonderfully by those masters of remaster BBE Records.

Amongst the glowing set Ayers is joined by famed long-time collaborator William Allen, whilst 3 different soul divas deliver the goods on vocals including Merry Clayton, Carla Vaughn and Sylvia Cox who join a band of expert players who groove as well as The Headhunters and The Isley Brothers.

From volume one the highlights include the soul charge of Mystery of Love and I Really Love You, whilst Sugar is dipped firming into a sweet soul mega groove. Green and Gold has a shout and call back with Bobby Lyle and Ayers mincing their parts perfectly. I Just Wanna Give It Up stinks of permanent class, which is a wonder why it wasn’t released on its own merits of the time of its creation. I Am Your Mind seals proceedings with a bass line straight out of the KPM 1000 series soundtracks.

As you try to catch your breath volume 2 is up on us within a flash. With a similar band line up from volume one you know you’re in for a treat and more with the second instalment. I Am Your Mind Pt 2 is an alternative rare soul classic compared to its snuggly neighbour from volume one. Slow Tarzan (Funk In The Hole) doesn’t need a macho tree swinging lunatic to scream vocals rare this number is a sweet groove track with a feel good movement. Third Time has a string section arrangement to die for as William Allen welcomes Vaughn to deliver a solid vocal. The final edge of this sword features Sunshine which the likes of Funkadelic would have been proud of.

These 2 volumes of Ayers wonderment are a must for any soul, funk, jazz or rare groove nut that are only further evidence of the man’s talents to be able to catch a note and turn it into something seemingly not of the normal. A Fantastic collection.

Virgin Ubiquity volumes 1 & 2 can be purchased from the BBE website

Matt Mead

Matt Mead

Freelance writer who likes anything with heart and soul