TIR 83: Funk-Jazz Giant Roy Ayers Talks Lifetime of Sharing Good Vibes


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in TIR Episode 83: One of the true giants of jazz, funk and soul music — vibraphone master, keyboard player, singer, composer and producer — the incomparable Mr. Roy Ayers. Debuting with a straight-ahead jazz style in 1962, in the decades that followed he would go on to record more than 60 albums under his own name and that of his band Ubiquity that blended a multitude of genres and paired him with many of the 20th century’s most accomplished musicians. They included Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Herbie Mann, James Mtume, Stanley Clarke, Grover Washington Jr., Edwin Birdsong, Hubert Laws, Sonny Sharrock, Alphonse Mouzon, Billy Cobham, Wayne Henderson, Nate Phillips and so many more.

Some of his best known and exceptional tracks include “Running Away,” “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” “Freaky Deaky,” “Get on Up, Get on Down,” “Spirit of Doo Do,” “Pretty Brown Skin,” “Change Up the Groove,” “The Fuzz,” “Red, Black & Green,” “Rhythms of Your Mind,” “The Boogie Is Back,” “Brother Green,” “Life Is Just a Moment,” “The Black Five,” “2000 Black,” “No Question,” “The Old One Two (Move to Groove),” Searching,” “Vibrations,” “Fruit,” “Love Will Bring Us Back Together,” “Don’t Stop the Feeling,” “Rock Your Roll,” “Baby Buba,” “Africa, Center of the World,” “Feeling Good,” “Turn Me Loose,” “Fast Money,” “Everybody,” “Goree Island” and “Blast the Box.” Ayers’ grooves are among the most sampled in hip-hop history and he has been credited with spearheading the acid jazz movement and been referred to as “The Godfather of Neo-Soul.”

TRUTH IN RHYTHM had been pursuing Ayers for well over a year to appear on the program, and ultimately he declined to participate in being videotaped. So the audio phone interview that follows has been set to assorted Ayers visuals. At age 78, his memory and speech are not as acute as they once were and he lacked the capacity for more than a half-hour interview. That meant focusing more on the big picture rather than being able to dissect specific albums and tracks.

A humble, gracious man whose life is all about the music, Ayers has spread good vibes for more than half a century.



Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.