David “Fathead” Newman (Feat. Roy Ayers) – Lonely Avenue (Atlantic) (1972)

Credited as David Newman featuring Roy Ayers, Lonely Avenue is an album that is reflective of Roy Ayers sound throughout his career. Most people know Roy Ayers for his fusion of jazz, funk, and soul (which this particular album is filled of), but not too many people would consider Roy Ayers to ever dabble in the blues genre. That is guaranteed to change when you hear his role in Precious Lord, where Roy Ayers and David Newman do an excellent rendition of the slow, soulful sound of traditional blues as they go back and forth with their harmonic call and response, which is an age old tradition amongst African American music. Moving on to the funky soulful Symphonette, which doesn’t feature the vibes of Roy Ayers, but it’s rhythm can easily be mistook for a Hip Hop instrumental. You can hear the vibe work of Mr. Ayers on 3/4 of the Time, as the 3/4 time signature and swing gives it a real summertime vibe, and Fire Weaver, which is reminiscent of straight funk, and Fuzz, where David Newman and Roy Ayers play in perfect stride.
All things considered, this is a magnificent album which shows the versatility of David Newman and Roy Ayers, as each song has it’s own character and feel. Even though the genres switch from song to song, it is still a solid listen from beginning to end. When we talk about Roy Ayers and his ability to fuse musical genres, let’s not forget the blues, as he proves it on this particular project.

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Written by: Haylow

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