ROY AYERS UBIQUITY : ‘Red, Black & Green’ (Label: Hip-O Select)

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ROY AYERS UBIQUITY : 'Red, Black & Green'

This collectable 1973 Roy Ayers album is reissued as part of Hip-O Select’s ‘Select Direct’ series – although there’s a notable absence of bonus material and liner notes, the album is remastered and presented in a replica of the original LP sleeve. It’s now available to buy in UK shops thanks to Universal’s Import Music Services. To my mind, ‘Red Black & Green’ is one of the vibraphone maestro’s most impressive offerings for Polydor from the early ’70s. The musical keystone is the classic title track, though there are inventive jazz-funk re-workings of Bill Withers’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’ Aretha’s ‘Day Dreaming’ and The Temptations’ ‘Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone,’ all of which feature liquid vibraphone licks over sinewy, funk-fuelled backbeats. Also noteworthy is the infectious instrumental, ‘Cocoa Butter,’ which boasts an undulating Latin groove and exciting interplay between members of Ayers’ band (which includes pianist Harry Whitaker). A must-have for jazz-funk connoisseurs.
(CW) 4/5