Sometime in the distant future I hope to have a vault of unreleased reviews and interviews that are collected and reprised for my fans, only further cementing my legacy as one of the greatest music journalists of all time. For legendary musician Roy Ayers, my dream is his reality. His archives were opened to the guys at BBE Records, who unearthed a host of “throwaway” tracks — those that didn’t make it on any of his sixty-two albums. Thirteen of them are included on Virgin Ubiquity II: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981.
As this collection shows, Ayers is an alchemist, blending melodies into an organic rhythm that is absolute in its sincerity and genuine in its delivery. Hip-hop has been kind to him, sampling his work in classic including Mos Def’s “Brooklyn,” A Tribe Called Quest’s “Bonita Applebum” and the Pharcyde’s “Passin Me By.”
Virgin Ubiquity II is a welcome addition to any Ayers collection (the first volume was released in 2004 and is just as worthwhile). But, more important, this collection is a fitting introduction to those unfamiliar with the seminal work of this true living legend.