First Listen: Roy Ayers, Najee and Vula help Dean Mark to "Touch" us

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    (December 22, 2023) Legendary vibe man Roy Ayers has fans of his work in straight ahead jazz, fusion and neo-soul. It all depends on when your ears were introduced to his music. For me, it was in the 1970s when Ayers cut a series of high-quality albums that fused soul, funk and jazz such as the soundtrack to the movie Coffee and his 1978 album You Send Me.

    Neo-soul fans heard Ayers vibe work on the recordings of some of their favorite artists, such as Erykah Badu and Eric Benet. I’m starting to dig into Ayers’ straight ahead jazz albums from the 1960s, and I’m loving what I’m hearing.

    Artists wishing to add that jazzy vibraphone sound on their recordings still call on Roy Ayers. The latest to do so is bassist/multi-instrumentalist Dean Mark. Mark recruits Ayers to play the vibes on a funky reimagining of “I Wanna Touch You Baby,” a song that appeared on Ayers’ You Send Me.

    (December 22, 2023) Legendary vibe man Roy Ayers has fans of his work in straight ahead jazz, fusion and neo-soul. It all depends on when your ears were introduced to his music. For me, it was in the 1970s when Ayers cut a series of high-quality albums that fused soul, funk and jazz such as the soundtrack to the movie Coffee and his 1978 album You Send Me.

    Neo-soul fans heard Ayers vibe work on the recordings of some of their favorite artists, such as Erykah Badu and Eric Benet. I’m starting to dig into Ayers’ straight ahead jazz albums from the 1960s, and I’m loving what I’m hearing.

    Artists wishing to add that jazzy vibraphone sound on their recordings still call on Roy Ayers. The latest to do so is bassist/multi-instrumentalist Dean Mark. Mark recruits Ayers to play the vibes on a funky reimagining of “I Wanna Touch You Baby,” a song that appeared on Ayers’ You Send Me.

    Mark flips it 180 degrees from Ayers’ sensual, silky-smooth original. He dives deep into the funk with his bass playing and hard driving drumming by Gareth Brown leading the way. Najee, another legend, fluent in jazz and R&B brings in some creativity on the tenor saxophone. The vocals will be sweet on the ears of anyone who likes soul singing. Check out Mark’s remake of “I Wanna Touch You Baby” here.

    By Howard Dukes

    Dean Mark feat. Roy Ayers, Najee and Vula
    “I Wanna Touch You Baby”

     
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