Tuesday, June 23, 2015


A trio of Roy Ayers classics in one sweet set – along with some excellent bonus cuts too! First up is the album You Send Me – a set with a sound like no other – with a slow mellow jazzy style that shows Roy working at the height of his powers! There's some wonderful spacey production on the record – bringing out elements like the vibes, electric piano, and soulful vocals – and turning them into a seductive blend that trails out over the course of the record, hitting a smooth mellow mode that we love every bit as much as Roy's harder and funkier work. 

The title cut is an amazing extended remake of "You Send Me", which sounds nothing like the original – and other good cuts include the stepping "And Don't You Say No", and the great cuts "Rhythm" and "Everytime I See You", which have these excellent offbeat rhythm patterns. 

Fever is a great little album by Roy Ayers – one that features none of his hits, which means lots of fresh material – and which has great examples of both sides of Roy's talents at the time! The dancefloor side of Roy kicks in with "Love Will Bring Us Back Together", an extremely catchy groover that's very much in the mode of "Running Away", with plenty of choppy funky riffs, and a good soul base at the core. Even better, though, is the mellow spacey side of Roy – which shows up wonderfully in the cuts "Is It Too Late To Try" and "If You Love Me" – two overlooked gems that float along in a perfect blend of jazz and modern soul, with great breathy vocals and vibes, very much in the spirit of stuff on the You Send Me album. Other cuts include "I Wanna Feel It", "Leo", "Take Me Out To The Ball Game", and "Simple & Sweet" – all nice too! 

No Stranger To Love is a sly, and often funky set that deserves to be mentioned with his more famous dancefloor ready work of the late 70s – and if it gets an extra point two for the incredibly cool cover photo, the slow burning grooves more than deliver on the promise! The album does a really nice job of rolling out both the sultry jazzy soul and the funkier Ayers modes, with sweet strings in spots, Roy's incomparable vibes, bass and keyboard grooving, and vocals that set the mood for both the slow jams and the funky stuff! Includes the extended mellow number "Don't Let Our Love Slip Away", one of Roy's better downtempo moments, plus great stuff like "Don't Stop The Feeling", plus "What You Won't Do For Love", "No Stranger To Love/Want You", "Shack Up, Pack Up, It's Up (When I'm Gone)", "Don't Hide Your Love". CD also features 8 more bonus cuts – including "Love From The Sun", "Running Away", "Keep On Walking", "Vibrations", "Searching", "Everybody Loves The Sunshine", "Love Fantasy", and "No Deposit No Return".  ~ Dusty Groove

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