Roy Ayers

Virgin Ubiquity: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981

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AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston

Given that Roy Ayers really never left the spotlight, it would be inappropriate to call any sort of rediscovery or renaissance of his music a comeback. However, the resurgence of interest in the jazz musician's expansive and innovative catalog has prompted ears both new and old to give Ayers his long overdue credit as a soul-jazz pioneer. This two-disc set features remixes from BBE's excellent Virgin Ubiquity, Vol. 2: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981, and brings a veritable A-list who's who of soul/electronic/downtempo remixers to the plate. House gurus Kenny Dope and Osunlade offer up heavy sessions of tasteful grooves without overshadowing the genius of the original tracks. King Britt also contributes a strong reinterpretation of "Kwajilori," while DJ Spinna and the Platinum Pied Pipers focus their remixes more toward the downtempo/hip-hop crowd. At two discs in length, normally a project of this size could be trimmed to a single disc for an excellent release. But there's something for everyone here, regardless of your subgenre affiliation. At least it's not remixing the classics in a feeble attempt to update an artist's catalog, and that in itself is a breath of fresh air.

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