Everybody Loves the Sunshine
Reinvigorated by a new backing band, Roy Ayers reached a high-water mark in 1976 with Everybody Loves the Sunshine. Bolstered by drummer Doug Rhodes, bassist John “Shaun” Solomon, and guitarist Ronald “Head” Drayton, the album has an exuberance not seen since Ayers’ early days. The album is drenched in layers of piano and synthesizer. Working in tandem with longtime Ubiquity keyboardist Philip Woo, Ayers personally applied keyboard to each song, striving for the warmest, most sensual palette possible. There's plenty of disco energy here, but the performances are anything but cookie-cutter. Ayers devises unusual and ingenious rhythmic ideas, which (as on “The Third Eye”) seem to at once stalk listeners and hover over them. The album culminates with “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” which Ayers sings in unison with his vivacious young partner, Chicas. What could have easily been a corny hippy song in 1966 becomes in 1976 an oozing, sophisticated slow burn of a groove. It's a supernatural piece of music, eerily optimistic and intoxicating.