Roy Ayers returns with first new album in nine years

Jazz-funk icon Roy Ayers will release his first new album in nine years this Friday.

“The godfather of neo-soul” has teamed up with producers and multi-instrumentalists Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge for Roy Ayers JID002, coming June 19 via the duo’s record label Jazz is Dead.

In its announcement the label described the eight-song album as sounding “both like an unearthed and unreleased album from Ayers’ classic period in the 1970s … as well as something startling, new and unexpected.”

The trio collaboratively wrote the album’s eight original compositions together and recorded them at Younge’s Linear Labs in Los Angeles.

Roy Ayers JID002 features Ayers’s ubiquitous vibraphone and singular voice, backed by the versatile talents of Shaheed Muhammad and Younge, who lay down bass, electric piano, clavinet, mellotron and more.

You can listen to the new song Synchronize Vibration right now.

The trio is joined by drummer Greg Paul, trombonist Phil Ranelin, clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Wendell Harrison, and a revolving cast of vocalists Loren Oden, Joy Gilliam, Saudia Yasmein, Elgin Clark and Anitra Castleberry.

“The eight tracks on this album testify to the love not only of a legendary musician’s legacy, but to the vitality and necessity of this music and these sounds in the present era,” Jazz is Dead said in its statement accompanying the album’s announcement.

Rising to fame in the ’70s with original songs including Everybody Loves the Sunshine, Running Away and Red, Black & Green, Ayers became known as a pioneer of jazz-funk. He was a key figure in the acid jazz movement and has been frequently sampled by hip-hop artists.

Ayers’s last studio album, King of the Vibes, came out in 2011.

Recommended Links