Review; Roy Ayers, Ipswich Corn Exchange

Roy Ayres

Roy Ayres - Credit: Archant

Soul jazz legend Roy Ayers took to the stage at Ipswich’s Corn Exchange on Saturday for an evening of funky riffs and good vibes.

Several hundred people turned up to see Ayers and his band take us through a selection from his masterly back catalogue. We had the groovy, upbeat Evolution, the jazz-funk inspired Spirit of Doo Do and the laid back ode to love, I Wanna Touch you Baby.

The set also included the all-time classic Everybody Loves the Sunshine – a four-minute, jazzy, soulful piece of brilliance that wonderfully evokes the headiness of a perfect sunny day.

At 75, Ayers is still going strong – skilfully playing his vibraphone and chatting with the audience. He was ably supported by a backing singer, a funky drummer and two gifted guitarists who took the audience off on long, winding funk solos.

Many of Ayers’ tunes are highly-polished and produced on record, so the live versions were rawer than the tracks I know. But the grooves were infectious and I was up and dancing, as was the majority of the audience.

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One track in particular - We Live in Brooklyn, Baby - caught me in its vibe, and I was up and away with the other groovers. Some of the guys at the front were really going for it.

A good night out and a much need injection of soulful funk.

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