The meet up between the legendary American Pop Funk Artist, Roy Ayers and one of the world’s most acclaimed disk jockey, Gilles Peterson is one of the most awaited in the BBC 6 programme until it aired last September 12, 2015. It even coincided with the celebration of Ayers’ 75th birthday just two days before.
As the programme started to air, jazz music composed by Ayers himself was being played in the background, creating a lively atmosphere for those who are tuned in.
The two also reviewed Ayers’ first break in the music industry, his famous masterpieces and his exciting personal experiences without skipping a beat on Roy’s personal favorite composition, Everybody Loves the Sunshine.
Roy and Gilles looked back on Ayer’s first gig with Chico Hamilton, another famous Jazz drummer and bandleader, when they traveled to the Far East region of the world as they called Japan in 1965. Roy also applauded the famous jazz flautist, Herbie Mann and went on with his four-year friendship with him. He shared how Mann was able to help him and two others on their own financial budgeting and guided them through the business circulating in the music industry when they were traveling overseas in the late 1970s. Ayers also admitted that even when he is already 75 years old, he is still learning how to integrate the passion in music to the professional side of it.
Peterson also prodded on Ayers’ incredible record count. Roy was humble enough to admit that he has 91 albums, 43 albums short of Lionel Hamilton’s. Everybody Loves the Sunshine is pointed as his favorite before the actual demo was played exclusively for the audience to listen to. This record is also known to be one of Ayers’ signature compositions which earned him the title, “the Godfather of Neo Soul”. Roy is also a key figure in the acid jazz movement, which is a mixture of jazz, funk and hip hop.
Throughout the programme, Gilles and Roy continued to talk about the nostalgic feeling of Roy’s music. Peterson also stated that he had been enjoying mixing it out in his performances worldwide. The records have also been a favorite of audiences from Tokyo, Japan, Jakarta, Indonesia and Egypt, much to the delight of the 75-year old jazz performer.
Gilles also commended Ayers for his enthusiasm in traveling and performing, even when he is already passed his prime. Roy’s great pull of the crowd during gigs is also praiseworthy. Ayers also expressed his gratitude to Pharell Williams, one of today’s most famous artists and producer, who publicly pointed him as his idol.
To listen to the funny and nostalgic conversation between Gilles and Roy, a recorded interview is still available for streaming in the BBC site and Brownswood Boiler Room.