Just as all great events at Kitchen Street turn out damp and jam packed, Getintothis’ Amaan Khan saw Roy Ayers and his band follow the tradition with their fiery jazz.
In with a loud hit of the snare, like a bang on the door to a great night, ‘the godfather of neo-soul’ Roy Ayers and his band kicked off the tight jams that would see us through the night.
The venue was already brimming with a crowd that had soaked up a clear sun, beer, pizza, No Fakin DJ‘s seasoned mixes and an altogether lively atmosphere at the venue’s courtyard party before the main act even came on.
So when Roy Ayers and his band brought on their Ray Charles with a modern boogie sounds, the warmed up crowd offered their best moves from the get go.
Truly, the show was as much of the band’s as it was of Ayers’, as they interwove bass, drums, keys and electronic vibraphone through seamless and extended jams that seem to take a song and morph it into something different entirely.
This writer has an irrational problem with acts that sound the same every time and a noticeable love for improvisation and the night’s act fed that love with improvised setlist and jams extending to almost 20 minutes each time.
Kudos to Ayers‘ courage that he kicked-off with his strongest and most popular songs like Everybody Likes the Sunshine and Searchin’, thus setting high standards from the start. Intense music like that spends both performers and listeners alike, so when the band went into the jazz standard Autumn Leaves, a portion of the crowd decided to step out for a bit to take a respite from both the intense music and the room’s stuffiness, and that chilled instrumental felt oddly fitting between the intense work.
Without complying to the encore request, Roy Ayers bid adieu a very varied audience of locals and non-locals alike who went on to continue the party with the DJs and the courtyard vibes and basking in that summer happiness – courtesy of the promoters, the artists and the venue team.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Tom Adam.