Roy Ayers, the vibes-playing legend of jazz-funk, has joined forces with Adrian Younge and A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad for his first album in nine years. The record, titled Roy Ayers JID002, is out Friday (June 15), with physical copies due late July. Listen to “Synchronize Vibration” below.
The record is the first studio album to be released on Younge and Muhammad’s new label Jazz Is Dead. The pair released a compilation featuring Ayers, Gary Bartz, and others this year.
Muhammad wrote in a press release: “What is Jazz in 2020? I can answer that this way: jazz artists have not only been an inspiration that has shaped my development as a musician, but their music is deeply rooted into the foundation of the Hip-Hop culture. We have risen because their head nodding beats, lush chord progressions, soul ripping melodies and bellowing basslines have given us a musical back beat to poetically flow on until the break of dawn. To me, it’s all freedom music and Jazz Is Dead is motivating a movement.”
The album’s eight original tracks were written collaboratively by Younge, Muhammad, and Ayers, and recorded at Younge’s Linear Labs in Los Angeles. They’re joined by drummer Greg Paul, vocalists Loren Oden, Joy Gilliam, Saudia Yasmein, Elgin Clark, and Anitra Castleberry, and Phil Ranelin and Wendell Harrison of Tribe Records. Ayers’ last studio album, King of the Vibes, came out in 2011.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork