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In the Dark/You Might Be Surprised

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Nov. 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Jazz
  • ASIN: B0000241ZB
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 324,544 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Roy Ayers - In The Dark/you Might Be Surprised - Cd

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By Falcon on 23 Jan. 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is Roy Ayers at his Vibrant best - Don't miss this one!
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ce1e6cc) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cf2739c) out of 5 stars Roy Ayers At The Beginning Of His Columbia Years 19 Mar. 2012
By Andre S. Grindle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I first heard these two albums played on a local radio show (via vinyl copies) by then DJ/now session keyboard player Nigel Hall around 2004. Well parts of them anyway. By then I knew about a lot of Roy Ayers music and his influence on acid jazz. What I didn't know was his enormous catalog and wealthy musical backround. He'd collaborated with everyone from Wayne Henderson to Fela Kuti. For reasons I could only guess Ayers wasn't quite able to do for Kuti what Peter Gabriel was for Youssou N'Dour. But that didn't matter. Roy had always very proudly flaunted his African/American heritage (emphasis on the African) and in a lot of ways was something of the embodiment of what Ricky Vincent calls "united funk": slick,often jazzy funk music filled with a lot of vibrant sexuality and spiritually uplifting messages. Somewhere or other,by the early 80's it didn't seem there was much of a place for that "people music" sound anymore,unless you wanted to end your career. Grim as that sounds Roy decided to move to Columbia in 1984. This was after all the label that was most commonly associated with Miles Davis,Herbie Hancock and the like. And they did seem to know what was hot and what was not in jazz-funk at that time.

The first album 'In The Dark' was produced by Stanley Clarke in 1984. With Grover Washington and Tom Browne as the main horn players the album is about the perfect mix of slick mid 80's boogie funk and the kind of jazz-funk Roy pioneered a decade earlier on the title song,"Sexy,Sexy Sexy" and the late in the day disco-funk of "Compadre". "I Can't Help It" is a mild vibe led ballad. But the most potent track to me would "Goree Island",a sizzling electronic afro-funk number celebrating what I'll call....the rooted futurism of the jazz-funk genre itself. It's got the African polyrhythms down pat but also this 80's electro/boogie funk production too. On the more obvious deep 80's funk of "Poo Poo La La" Roy himself raps a bit about his desire for a lover who'll truly understand a musicians lifestyle and not take it personally. Great groove and wittily pointed lyric. The last two numbers "Blast The Box" and "Love Is In The Feel" are both more contemporary break dance type tunes but still with plenty of Roy's flavor. 'You Might Be Surprised',produced by Mtume the next year contains the rhythm guitar heavy Minneapolis funk opener "Hot",it's main highlight. But overall some of the period electronics are laid on thicker than they normally would be on numbers such as "Night Flyte","Can I See You" and the title song.

Even though Roy still plays in his always spirited way on vibes on "Virgo" (still celebrating astrology as always) and "Slip N Slide",the album doesn't quite have the flow of it's predecessor from beginning to end. Interestingly enough Roy Ayers output after this would remain at it's sometimes manic pace well into the 90's. Which is fitting because that was the era when acid jazz,a subgenre Roy is credited with helping to pioneer,was in it's peak years at the time. True his releases would tend to be on smaller labels a bit later. And even with these two albums I'm not sure if anyone aside from devoted fans paid it very much attention. But Roy shared something in common with the obviously more commercially consistent Stevie Wonder: both men were able to progress with modern production while maintaining a sound that was destinctly there. Also they both maintained a level of depth to their lyrical topics when most other acts were starting to give up on that entirely. So even if Roy could'nt even get the attention of the black community he'd once had in the 70's and was starting to show signs of being past his prime,he by and large kept plugging away. Besides he knew that while success was fleeting for the individual,what they create often outlasts that.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cdeabac) out of 5 stars High Energy 2Fer 6 April 2009
By BishopsJazz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Fans of Roy Ayers know all too well how quickly his material goes out of print. On these rare recordings from the early to mid 80s Roy gleefully embraces the electrofunk movement that was in vogue at the time and promoted by artists such as Roger Troutman and his ensemble Zapp. In the Dark dates back to late 1984 while You Might Be Surprised was released in the summer of 1985. Although some of the lyrics are typical Roy Ayers the music is anything but. The vibes show up on a good many tracks and Roy is very liberal in his solos. Also, it doesn't hurt that Jean Carne is featured on the title track for You Might Be Surprised and Branford Marsalis on Virgo. In the postUbiquity era, William Allen has been an integral part of Roy's crew. Whether in the roll of producer or percussionist or vocalist he seems to have a synergistic effect on Roy's performances. To this day he has been an indispensable part of Roy's success. In any event, Roy really heats up the vibes on these two efforts. Suffice it to say that whenever he pulls out those mallets, there's going to be some music made. It's good that whoever put together this package did the best to preserve the cover art from the original recordings.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cd22d74) out of 5 stars Two solid recordings on one disc! 20 Dec. 2007
By Eric Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"In the Dark is definitely one of Roy's finest recordings ever. I thought the vibes on this album was slammin'. I particulary like the duet with Miki Howard on the tune "Poo Poo, La La". Her vocals was hittin' on all cylinders. I'm glad i copped this one before it went out of print. I'm still waiting on some of Roy's other self titled albums to hit cd.
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