Pulse: Out and About: Good Vibes
Without Roy Ayers, the vibraphone might be about as cool as the flügelhorn. In the 1970s, Ayers brought the vibes onto the radio with soulful hits like “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” “Searching” and “Running Away.” Lest you think the 65-year-old Ayers is a relic, consider that he’s credited with erecting the neo-soul sound, and that Mary J. Blige, the Roots, Erykah Badu and dozens of other much younger artists have called on his mallet mastery. Ayers plays Zanzibar Blue November 11th and 12th.
How do you feel about all of these new artists sampling your music?
It’s brought me into a different realm. A lot of the hip-hoppers and rappers are giving me credit, because it’s the best sound for the kind of music they’re making. And, of course, it’s been economically rewarding.
How has the music scene changed since you got your start?
Well, the late ’60s, those were the years, man. I’ve been coming to Philly since back then. We played the Showboat at Broad and Lombard, the Spectrum, and the old Electric Factory. But today, this rap generation has taken off — way off. The hip-hoppers are doing what the beboppers did during their era, only on another level.
You’ve done everything from funk and disco to Nigerian juju and smooth jazz, so what’s next?
I have a concept in my head for hip-hop jazz—a mixture of hip-hop, scatting and improvisation. I hope I’m the first to do it.
$40. 8 and 10 p.m. Zanzibar Blue, 200 South Broad Street; 215-732-4500.