I've been fortunate enough to have seen Roy live several times over the years since the late 70's and what has always struck me is on top of his obvious musical talent is his bright personality and sparkling sense of humour. Age has not diminished this quality in any way. During the show he explained to the crowd how during his career he's been through 10 passports (all with added pages, mind you) travelling around the world. He then preceded to display his current passport, describing some of the various countries he's visited. By the way, it was during this interlude he informed the London crowd that Britain had his most consistant and loyal fans throughout his career, and he was eternally grateful for their support.
All of this made me think seeing Roy Ayers in concert right now is very similar to thinking of a favourite uncle who back in the day was hot stuff, proving that he's still got the moves, he's still got the groove, he can still deliver a great show. Another example of this man's unique wit comes to mind. A few years ago I saw Roy at another packed London show when he performed his ode to a great New York borough, 'We Live In Brooklyn, Baby'. However he really endeared himself to the audience by substituting the word Brooklyn for black Britain's cultural centre, Brixton. Oh yeah, "We Live In Brixton, Baby!" Roy Ayers continues to be a class act.
My night at the Jazz Cafe was topped off quite nicely with an after show meeting with the great man caught here in this Kodak moment. I'm in the middle, flanked by Roy on the left and my friend, whose birthday it was, on the left.