Thursday, August 6, 2009

Music Moment: RAMP

I'll just come out and say it, Roy Ayers is a musical god. Yes. The man has more talent in his pinky finger than most "singers/songwriters" out today have in their entire body. Homeboy really is that good. Ayers has inspired everyone from D'Angelo, to Erykah Badu to Sean P. "Diddy" Combs to Mary J. Blige. I first heard of him on Badu's 1998 "Live" album. She did a beautiful remake of Ayres' hit "Searching" and I was hooked. Since then, I've been listening to and discovering his music. I have most of his discography on vinyl. Good stuff, for real. But not surprising for a man who's been in the music industry for about 40 years. One of my faves by him is RAMP's "Come Into Knowledge" which was released in 1977 on ABC Records Inc. RAMP was a group from Ohio (a lot of the dopest groups came from there!) that recorded songs written, produced and arranged by Ayers, Edwin Birdsong and William Allen. The group only recorded one album that went relatively unappreciated until the rap group A Tribe Called Quest sampled their song, "Daylight". Many of the record's other songs have influenced generations of musicians. Does this sound familiar? What about this? "Come Into Knowledge"is a mix of uptempo tunes and light odes about life and love. Yes, this man is up there with James Brown in terms of influence and even sampling in my book. You can buy "Come Into Knowledge" here.

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