Roy Ayers

Love Fantasy

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In the early '70s, Ayers was the most successful jazz act for Polydor Records. With various producers and arrangers, Ayers' always did tuneful yet challenging tracks. His warm vibe playing earned equal jazz and R&B acclaim. The bass-heavy "Red, Black and Green" typifies the style. By 1976's masterful Everybody Loves the Sunshine, the balance tilted to more non-jazz presentation. Love Fantasy finds Ayers at three years of superstar status. Most of the precise jazz playing had been toned down as well as his vibraphone playing. Luckily for Ayers and his fans, he still possessed a great musical ear and frequent co-producer William Allen did the strong string arrangements. That being said, Love Fantasy frequently veers too wildly from the sublime to the ridiculous. The title track is a little too repetitive for even his fans. The dance tracks here are disposable. "Rock Your Roll" and "Baby Bubba" did nothing but help get those unfortunate phrases in the lexicon. At this point, Ayers' metier was making great romantic and sensual music. So much so he could attain that even on the mid-tempo, self-empowerment track "Believe in Yourself." Love Fantasy also has two of Ayers' best tracks. This album has two of his best romantic tracks. "Sigh (Feel the Vibration)" unfortunately has Ayers breathing heavy throughout the track. "Betcha Gonna" has strong bass and drum interplay and has Ayers playing the synth and singing too many come-ons to mention. Despite the Love Fantasy's lack of jazz, fans of Ayers' late-'70s/early-'80s work will indeed enjoy this.

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