Simply put, Virgo Red by Roy Ayers Ubiquity is an excellent album that displays the wide range that is Roy Ayers.
The first song may be familiar, depending on your taste in television and how left your sense of humor is. It is entitled Brother Louie, which is a cover of Stories‘s hit song with the same title, has been reintroduced to popular culture as the theme song for the Emmy Award comedy Louie starring Louis CK. Roy Ayers is an excellent cover artist, and his soulful vibraphone always adds a different interpretation on an original. Another great cover on this album is the Morning After, which is was originally performed by Maureen McGovern.
Other songs, such as I Am Your Mind displays the soulful blues side of Roy that doesn’t come out too often, but when it does, it hits the nail on the head. The funky groove and the fuzz guitar featured on the title track Virgo Red are signature Roy, and the compositions of Giving Love is a timeless sound which can be enjoyed by generations young and old. We also shouldn’t forget the excellent, uptempo boogie of Love From The Sun, which gave us the great sample for the Slum Village (produced by J Dilla) song World Full of Sadness.
When Roy Ayers Ubiquity was at its height, they were incomparable. There sound was different than anything else that came before or after, and they were a collective of young musicians that were shaping the sound of jazz. They weren’t the jazz heavyweights that had decades of experience, they were set on pushing the art form forward, regardless of what their peers thought. Here is the list of the brilliant talent that graced the Virgo Red album to make it the classic piece of work that holds true.
Baritone Vocals – Argerie Ayers, Arthur Clark, Denise Bridgewater, Leslie Carter, Seldon Powell, Willie Michael
Bass – David Johnson, Gordon Edwards
Congas, Bongos, Vocals – Chano O’Ferral
Drums, Percussion – Dennis Davis
Guitar – Dennis Heaven, Will Hawes
Percussion – Adrian Dey, Stephen Sadiz Shbazzberrios
Piano, Electric Piano, Organ – Harry Whitaker
Sitar [Electric Sitar] – Jerry Friedman
Trombone – Garnett Brown
Trumpet – Cecil Bridgewater, Jimmie Owens
Vibraphone, Organ, Vocals, Percussion – Roy Ayers
Vocals – Dee Dee Bridgewater