Andy Bey

Released June 25, 2013

Grammy Nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album 2014




Andy Bey — vocalist, pianist, composer — could be called a late bloomer. He’s been performing professionally since he was a kid, but much of his long career flew under the press radar. Now he’s reaping real recognition, copping the Jazz Journalists Association award for best male jazz singer three times in the last few years while his work inspires the high priests of jazz criticism to florid prose.

So here is Andy Bey, backed only by his own piano playing — which at one time, propelled the bands of Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, Cecil Taylor and Thad Jones/Mel Lewis — singing with a luxuriant, mature approach that pulls no punches. His delivery is totally unique. He has a message to get out, a story to tell and tell it he does. Featuring four of his own intensely personal compositions the set list is as thought-provoking as it is satisfying, just like Andy Bey himself.

Track Listing:

1. It Never Entered My Mind (Lorenz Hart / Richard Rodgers) 5:27

2. But Not for Me (George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin) 6:07

3. Dedicated to Miles (Andy Bey) 3:21

4. The Demons Are After You (Andy Bey) 6:46

5. Love Is Here to Stay (George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin) 4:03

6. There’s So Many Ways to Approach the Blues (Andy Bey) 6:08

7. The Joint Is Jumpin’ (J.C. Johnson / Andy Razaf / Fats Waller) 2:32

8. Being Part of What’s Happening Now (Andy Bey) 4:44

9. The Morning After (Harold Arlen) 3:57

10. ‘S Wonderful (George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin) 2:07

11. Dissertation on the State of Bliss (Harold Arlen / Ira Gershwin) 5:18


Andy Bey: piano and vocals

Recorded at Trading 8s Recording Studio, Paramus, NJ on March 21, 2013

Producer: Andy Bey

Recorded by Katherine Miller

Executive-Producer: Joe Fields

Design: Brad Wrolstad

Photography by Alan Nahigian


For a while it seemed Andy Bey had disappeared altogether. But six years since the fine Ain’t Necessarily So, Bey is back, albeit in a whisper-quiet way. Bey’s magnificent, blues-soaked baritone remains in remarkably good shape, his interpretative poignancy sharpened by the inevitable scratches and scars that come with age, experience and a prolonged battle with illness.
Alone at the piano, Bey transforms a half-dozen standards into soul-deep ruminations, lending even the perky “The Joint Is Jumpin’” and buoyant “‘S Wonderful” an air of studied introspection. He brings the same sense of meticulously plotted navigation to a couple of Harold Arlen rarities, the pensive “Dissertation on the State of Bliss,” written by Arlen with Ira Gershwin, and Arlen and Dory Previn’s stirring ode to precognitive heartache, “The Morning After.”
Rounding out the playlist are four Bey originals, uniformly inspired while strikingly unique. The wordless, bebop-hued scat of “Dedicated to Miles” is based on Davis and Charlie Parker’s commingling on Parker’s “Cheryl.” “The Demons Are After You,” a freeform exercise in blank verse, espouses getting out of one’s own way to find “God, truth [and] reality.” The sly, angular “There’s So Many Ways to Approach the Blues” distills those myriad approaches down to a single truth. Most profound is “Being Part of What’s Happening Now,” which takes storm-cloud awareness of the world’s ills and tenderly turns it inside out, inching toward cautious optimism.

Cristopher Loudon (JazzTimes)