The Roots drummer, ?uestlove, showed his appreciation for jazz, soul and funk composer Roy Ayers by participating in an upcoming documentary, The Roy Ayers Project. The bio-doc explores the musical legacy of Ayers through interviews from the people he’s had the most influence over.
Most known for innovation in R&B and disco music during the 70s, Ayers is one of the most sampled artists in either genre. Most notably, his “Everybody Loves the Sunshine” has been sampled numerous times, especially in hip hop, including 2Pac’s “Lost Souls,” Mary J. Blige’s “My Life,” and Common’s “Book of Life.” In the 80s Ayers also notably collaborated with Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti on the Music of Many Colors LP and by the 90s was on to brokering the merger between hip hop and Jazz, appearing on Guru’s Jazzmatazz album in 1993.
In a trailer for the film, the drummer for the hip hop and soul band The Roots calls Ayers “the Godfather of progressive hip hop.”
The documentary, just one element of a larger multi-media project, is slated for release in 2012.
(Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)