RAMP: Everybody Loves the Sunshine & Daylight
From Come Into Knowledge (Blue Thumb, 1977)
This is REALLY strange. Lately, I’ve been subconsciously sharing ideas with other audioblogs that I haven’t even visited in weeks. For example, We Eat So Many Shrimp had already highlighted the Jaz EP that I posted up last week. And then I was preparing to put up this post, on R.A.M.P. and while doing some background research, I found out that Moistworks posted up “Daylight” a week ago! Seriously, WTF? I’d chalk this up to some “great minds think alike,” but I’m telling ya’ll – it’s a lil weird.
I proceed undaunted but please do check out Moistworks’ post which pairs “Daylight” with some excellent other fare as part of an ongoing “Tribe Called Quest” source works series. Damn, MW might force me to have to jump in the ring with some of my favorite Tribe samples. Billy Brooks, what? Paul Humphrey, who?
RAMP stood for the Roy Ayers Music Project but you didn’t have to know the name was an acronym to suss out Ayers’ touch. The musical style – lush, dripping in vibes – is all Ayers with the sound falling somewhere between his early ’70s Polydor classics with Ubiquity (He’s Coming, Red, Black and Green, etc.) and his own Uno Melodica imprint of the early ’80s (Sylvia Striplin, Ayers’ Lots of Lovin). RAMP was a short-lived though – just this one album…and it became, in the early and mid-90s, one of the so-called beat-digger Holy Grail LPs. Since then, the market has cooled off considerably now that kids are chasing after Indiana funk 45s and random fast rap singles. It’s still a great album to find – definitely one of the most obscure of Ayers’ titles – and while I don’t think it’s as beginning-to-end consistent as some of his other albums (Vibrations is solid and far more common for example), it still has some great selections. “Daylight,” – the cut that most know (because of the Tribe sample) is an obvious stand-out but I’d also draw attention to the group’s version of Ayers’ classic, “Everybody Loves the Sunshine.” While this version isn’t a dramatic difference, it feels a little slower, even more laid back (if that’s even possible).