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Andy Bey

One of the great unsung heroes of jazz singing, Andy Bey is a commanding interpreter of lyrics who has a wide vocal range and a big, rich, full voice. Bey enjoys a small following that swears by him; nonetheless, he isn't nearly as well known as he should be. Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, not far from New York, Bey was exposed to jazz as a child and started singing in front of local audiences as early as age eight. At some gigs, an eight-year-old Bey was accompanied by tenor sax great Hank Mobley. Bey was 13 when, in 1952, he recorded his first solo album, Mama's Little Boy's Got the Blues, and he was 17 when he formed Andy & the Bey Sisters with his siblings Salome and Geraldine in 1956. The group did a 16-month tour of Europe and recorded three albums (one for RCA Victor in 1961, two for Prestige in 1964 and 1965) before breaking up in 1967.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Bey's vocals were featured by Max Roach, Duke Pearson, and Gary Bartz (for whom he delivered very sociopolitical lyrics, including some searing condemnations of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War). The 1970s also found Bey recording Experience and Judgment for Atlantic and beginning a long association with pianist Horace Silver, who featured him prominently on many of the religious-themed albums he put out own his own Silveto label in the 1970s and 1980s. The LPs contained what Silver termed "metaphysical self-help music" and preached a sort of religious self-help philosophy that wasn't unlike Reverend Ike's message -- unfortunately for Silver and Bey, this approach meant limited distribution and little commercial appeal. Bey continued to work with Silver into the 1990s, when he was featured on Silver's 1993 Columbia date It's Got to Be Funky (which marked a return to hard bop's mainstream and did much better commercially than his "self-help music").

Labels Bey recorded for as a leader in the 1980s and 1990s included Jazzette, Zagreb, and Evidence, which, in 1996, released the superb Ballads, Blues & Bey. The success of Ballads, Blues & Bey set up a position for the pianist to stretch out a little and explore his more intimate side. Bey followed with Shades of Bey in 1998 and Tuesdays in Chinatown in 2001, choosing to explore outside the world of jazz with covers of Nick Drake, Milton Nascimento, and others. American Song followed in early 2004. The Grammy-nominated The World According to Andy Bey appeared from Highnote Records in 2013, followed by another journey into American popular song, Pages from an Imaginary Life, in 2014, also on Highnote. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi
full bio

Comments

allocram
Andy Bey will take you like one of those large yellow sponges, squeeze you dry and then let you soak up more. I dare you to listen my favorite albums American Song, Ballads-Blue s - a n d Bey, or Shades of Bey and not wonder how this Great American Singer has been under the radar as long as he has been. Just like Morgana King. True interpreters of the jazz vocals canon. Catch this brother at one of his rare appearances at the small intimate jazz clubs in NYC. Leave your towel at home....
I in pursuit of the 27th man the best tune me ever made with Horace Silver
I saw him here in Seattle twice a few years ago at a small club he was superb!
Such a Beautiful deep Baritone,sof t & soothing !!!
cef1953
When I hear Andy Bey sing, he takes me on a wonderful, magical ride and I escape into a beautiful world.
pam34535
Love me some Andy Bey! Always have. Always will. He is one of the all time best jazz singer ever.
kimm_mit
Such a treasure!
Andy Bey is the way! Go brother with that smooth voice and that soulful JAZZ tone!
andy bey has always been able to swing it ! jazz people know he is a legend!
Wow, I'm really impressed. Never heard of Andy Bey before. I will be listening to him, along with Little Jimmy Scott!
"This way or that, which way should I go? To find a happy medium, to lighten my load...Thank you my friend, for being so kind. I've found a happy medium, right here in my mind."
collardcreat i v e
A new discovery. Wonderful voice!
dcw2g
This is my first time hearing him...his voice & this song...ooh, I will be looking for more of his music
gbryant5
Andy Bey is definitely one of the most under exposed great jazz singers of our time. His unique style and phasing makes him a special treasure. I sugeest any or all of his releases. Andy is a special talent!
Thank you Pandora for the inclusion of Andy Bey. I've been listening to jazz for years, and unbelievably he has escaped my notice and knowlegde. He has extraordinar y talent.
ronbrigel
Please Please Please get the album "Experience & Judgement" on here. It is one of the best albums ever made - period. Also the work he did with Horace Silver especially from the United States of Mind 3 album series would be great as well.
Andy Bey will go down in history as the one that got away. How could someone with so much talent and feel, be so underated?
Love that voice and phrasing!
buddy, louis, roy, diz, bird, monk, max,dexter, miles, clifford, james, hank, trane, wilbur h., K.D., jackie, grant, eric, albert, eddie jefferson, sassy, Morgana, Ms.Betty, and ANDY BEY. NUFF SAID! edward beverly aka DJ Eddie Freeze
soo good, sooo under rated.....he knows his way around lyrics...int e r p r e t a t i v e skill matches that of the late great Shirley Horn...full bodied silken sensuality.. . f a n s adore Andy!
IAM ALWAYS AMAZED WHEN I LISTEN TO ANDY AT THE QUALITY AND CLARITY OF HIS VOICE. HE IS A FAVORITE.JIM MADDOX
I love Andy Bey, and feel that he hasn't gotten his due. I saw him many years ago with Horace Silver and fell in love with his voice. Thank you for including him on this soundscape.

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