Video of Roy Ayers at Ronnie Scott's in 1988
Once one of the most visible and winning jazz vibraphonists of the 1960s, then an R&B bandleader in the 1970s and '80s, Roy Ayers' reputation s now that of one of the prophets of acid jazz, a man decades ahead of his time.
Perhaps acid jazz would have emerged even if Roy Ayers had never existed, but it certainly would have sounded different. Scores of DJs, hip-hoppers, acid jazzers, and others have incorporated samples of music created by Ayers into their own work, making his sound an integral part of these emerging musical forms. His status as the of acid jazz, or jazz funk, or label you prefer, represents a second life in the career of vibraphonist and composer Ayers, who first rocked American dance floors in the 1970s with such anthems as "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" and "Freaky Deaky." Twenty years later, Ayers is as ubiquitous in the dance clubs as he ever was.