“You need to listen to Roy Ayers — that’s where all that shit is taken from.”

These are the uncompromising wise words of no other than London Jazz torchbearer Kamaal Williams in an interview with Hypebeast.

Similar words were uttered by the keyboard kingpin of Peckham a few years earlier, when he told the Vinylmeplease platform that he grew up listening to Jamiroquai, but they were – of course – also heavily indebted to Roy Ayers. It’s not that there’s necessarily a literal resemblance in sound and aesthetic, but it’s more a conceptual congruence.

Jamiroquai bridged the gap between between commercial and soulful music, as Roy Ayers did before them by creating the perfect synergy between jazz, soul and disco. And isn’t that what Kamaal Williams & his British contemporaries are doing NOW in the ever-expanding London jazz scene, with its distinct nods to African and Caribbean music with its dance sensibilities?

81 years and Roy Ayers is still going at it, still sounding fresh and still pushing boundaries. Everyone who is into anything that comes out of the UK, but also the US hip hop from the golden era sampling him to Tyler the Creator who has featured Roy Ayes on a few of his albums, should come out and see the old grand master play. Only then, you can really understand where “all that shit is taken from”. Get your tickets here…

A few dope projects or samples you didn’t know Roy Ayers was behind below…

Digable Planets feat. Guru – Borough Check // Roy Ayers Ubiquity – We Live In Brooklyn, Baby (also sampled by Kendrick Lamar & Mos Def)

RAMP – Daylight (production by Ayers) // A Tribe Called Quest – Bonita Applebum

Sylvia Striplin – You Can’t Turn Me Away (production by Roy Ayers) // Erykah Badu – Turn Me Away (Get Munny) (also sampled by Biggie for his Bed-Stuy Junior M.A.F.I.A. project)

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