There was a free Roy Ayers concert at Central Park Summerstage this past weekend. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it. In part because shit gets way too crowded at these Central Park shows nowadays and you gotta stake out a place in line like an hour before they open the doors to guarantee that you can get in. (Those days of spontaneously rolling up on the humble to check out the likes Curtis Mayfield, Tito Puente, or KRS-One? As they say in Portlandia : OVER.) In part because it was an evening show instead of the usual afternoon thing (apparently not everybody loves the sunshine – damn you , Central Park Summerstage!) and I had a scheduling conflict (it’s called parenthood).
So instead of going to see the concert I watched the above video on repeat for a few hours. Actually, that’s inaccurate. I was already watching the above video on repeat for at least a week prior. It’s Roy Ayers Ubiquity live on stage in 1976, somewhere in Kansas. If you’re a Roy Ayers fan what else do you need to know? Given the dearth of Daddy Bug ’70s footage on youtube one would think nuthin’. But this baby by last count had less than 6,000 views. I’m mildly shocked by these low numbers, and can only chalk it up to the fact that the band is performing “Vibrations” and not one of the bigger tunes like “Running Away” (although an audio youtube clip of the Buster Williams version of “Vibrations” that was sampled for Big L has like 24,000 views, so go figure). That and the fact that it’s a nine-minute clip, and god forbid anyone should spend nine minutes of their day watching/listening to something this profoundly cool and beautiful.
A few other random thought-blips/observations:
1. 99% of the world’s population will never possess the hand/eye coordination necessary to play the vibraphone poorly, much less well.
2. Roy’s shirt with the sun print and what appears to be a hole in the center: on fire!
3. Justo Almario on sax. Yes.
4. Where the fuck is Phillip Woo ? (Asians – not just seen but not heard; also possibly heard but unseen?)