Song of the Day: Roy Ayers “Everybody Loves The Sunshine”
A great, low-key funk/soul groover from LA-born vibesman, Roy Ayers, “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” captures the feel of sweltering summer sun. The song came in the midst of Ayers‘ alte ’70s soul/funk period and features a combination of jazz-conscious improvisation while retaining some tasty pop hooks and a strong sense of groove. The allmusic.com review of the 1976 LP from which the song was taken totally nails the vibe of the song:
It evokes that feeling of sweltering concrete in Brooklyn where the only relief is the local fire hydrant. Entirely sung by a choir repeating the same lines throughout, the rhythm section rolls along with a perfectly looped laid-back groove. It moves along lazily, hypnotically, and sluggishly as the sun slows things down to the right speed and “folks get down in the sunshine.”
Roy Ayers was born in Los Angeles in 1940. Ayers grew up in a musical family (his father was a trombonist and his mother a pianist) and in the part of LA that at the time was the epicenter of the black music scene. Apparently destined for musical greatness, he was given his first pair of vibe mallets by the the great Lionel Hampton at the age of only five. Ayers first began recording in 1962 as a hard bop sideman before getting a gig playing with Herbie Mann in 1966 and eventually forming his own group by the end of the decade. While his commercial peak came in the 1970’s where Ayers was a stalwart jazz/funk/soul crossover artist, he has continued to play and perform. Still very much musically active, Roy Ayers performed a Tiny Desk Concert for NPR here in DC earlier this year.