The year was 1977. ABC Records released an album called Come Into Knowledge by a music collective known as RAMP. The acronym spelled out Roy Ayers Music Productions and lived up to its progenitor’s unique blend of jazz and funk. Thirty years later, Verve unearthed the album that had only been sought out by the most die-hard devotees of rare grooves. While the music holds up fairly well, some of the material is brought down by the harsh, sometimes robotic intonations of vocalists Matthews and Thrasher. There’s no denying that tracks like “Give It” and “Try, Try, Try” would set the stage on fire in concert but they’re a tad grating as standalone album tracks. There are reasons to seek the album out though, namely the molten lava funk of “The American Promise”, the Sunday stroll lilt of “Deep Velvet”, and the mellow vibes of the title track, “Look Into the Sky”, and “Everybody Loves the Sunshine”. Doubtless the album inspired a legion of modern-day producers, writers, and DJs, despite the obvious wrinkles of time. Adjust your expectations accordingly and dive in.
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