JAZZ fans of Roy Ayers take note: There's nothing on the vibraphonist's new album "I'm the One (For Your Love Tonight)" that will hold your interest for very long, unless of course you also have a taste for the pop confections he's been doling out in recent years. Here's another batch of ear candy that's nearly all sweet romance and light funk.
Fortunately, this sort of pop record seems to come naturally to Ayers. There's nothing forced about these performances. He's a whiz at extracting bright, ringing melodies from the vibes, and if the songs he records aren't the least bit original, at least they're tuneful, colorfully arranged and, on occasion, even amusing. Most of these songs are weighted in favor of sensuous grooves and cuddly sentiments, but there are two exceptions: the cartoon-like arrangement of "I Really Want To Be With You" and the cautionary anti-drug rap tune "Crack Attack."
As usual, Ayers has surrounded himself with an impressive assortment of studio musicians and vocalists who give the album a lustrous, radio-ready sheen.
ROY AYERS -- "I'm the One (For Your Love Tonight)" (Columbia FC 40423). Ayers appears with Cheryl Lynn at the Warner Theater Friday night.