3LP Vinyl – BBE537ALP
When two volumes of previously unreleased Roy Ayers tapes entitled ‘Virgin Ubiquity’ hit the racks courtesy of BBE in 2004/5, it was a little mystifying as to why these recordings had remained in the can for so long. The 2000s are a time when bonus tracks, particularly on re-issues, are commonplace and demos, concerts, broadcasts and other audio of historical interest augment (and sometimes simply pad out) many ‘deluxe’ editions.
At the beginning of the millennium few of Roy’s ’70s and ’80s albums were available on compact disc, a format which facilitated extra material due to its longer playing time – and even when the rest of Roy’s ’70s albums made it to CD, nothing recently unearthed was included – although there was a taster in the form of the instrumental ‘Party Sex’, whose release had been shelved until 1995. A proper trawl through the archives was clearly overdue; Peter Adarkwah met with Roy and sifting through the unused sessions began, with the chosen tracks transferred and sent to New York based engineers John Hopkins and Jamey Staub to mix.