2 overlooked albums by Roy Ayers – back to back in a single set! First up is Wake Up – proof that Roy Ayers is always great, no matter what the setting! Even in a low-budget, later album like this, there's an Ayers genius that really shines through – a way of inflecting the rhythms, jazzily tuning the instruments, and soulfully setting the whole thing up that gets way past the schlocky cover and cheap look of the album! The production's got a bit of 80s in the mix, but not nearly as much as you'd think – and even when the keyboards get a bit tinny at times, they're quickly offset by the warmer soul and jazzy vibes that we love from Roy so much. Harry Whitaker's in the group on keyboards, and titles include "Crack Is In the Mirror", "You've Got The Power", "Mystic Vibrations", "Midnight After Dark", "Suave", and "Sweet Talk". The second album is amazing – Lots Of Love – an incredible album by Roy Ayers – but one that's often overlooked because it was a rare indie effort issued between
Roy's years at Polydor and Columbia! The session's Roy's only full album for Uno Melodic – the label he formed to showcase the talents of Sylvia Striplin, Ladies Of The Eighties, and others – and it's done in a snapping, boogie-styled groove that's very similar to the work by other Uno acts at the time. There's still plenty of the late Polydor Roy in the mix too – especially on the album's mellower numbers, which glide along nicely with all the right jazzy touches we love in a classic Ayers groove! Highlights include the excellent "Chicago", a really dark funk track with a mad descending groove; the Fela-styled "Black Family"; the warmly jazzy "Lots Of Love", an instrumental with vibes along strings; and the bass bumping "Everybody", a wicked later funk number! Other tracks include "And Then We Were One", "DC City", "Drive", and "Fast Money" – all great too!
(Cutout mark through barcode.)