If there could be an album that would be described as quintessential Roy Ayers, it would be A Tear to A Smile, the 1975 release by Roy Ayers Ubiquity
This album definitely covers more of the funk side of Roy Ayers, with his sprinkle of melodic chords and vocals. With help from usual suspects like Wayne Garfield, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Edwin Birdsong, this album is vocal heavy, which may not have been well accepted by jazz purists, but by this time in Roy’s evolution, he had integrated jazz, R&B, soul, and funk into his ubiquitous sound, either you were to get with it or get left behind. Roy’s sound in general is to be described as fusion, but few of his albums demonstrate this better than A Tear to a Smile. If you are one who is not too familiar with Roy Ayers, this is a great album that encompasses his sound as Roy Ayers Ubiquity. Not only does this album give a great description of the sound of Roy Ayers Ubiquity, it also displays the philosophy and message that Roy Ayers often promotes through his lyrics. Sometimes, we get so rapped up in the melodic sound of the genius, that we forget how inspirational his lyrics are, and how progressive the message was and still is. The constant of peace, love, and unity are thick throughout Roy’s career, and this album is no different.
Listen to this wonderful album, and you’ll agree that it is one of Roy’s best.
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Written by: @Haylow