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Roy Ayers – Stoned Soul Picnic (MP3)
Stoned Soul Picnic was vibraphonist Roy Ayers‘ third album, originally released in 1968. The LP dates from the early part of Ayers’ career, before he delved heavily into R&B and funk fusions and instead concentrated more on soul-jazz grooves. Producer Herbie Mann assembled an exceptional septet for Ayers here, featuring the likes of Gary Bartz, Hubert Laws, Grady Tate, Ron Carter, and Herbie Hancock. The Laura Nyro-penned title track foreshadows Ayers’ later forays beyond the boundaries of pure jazz, and the group keeps the groove percolating throughout, making Stoned Soul Picnic one of Ayers’ best offerings.