Andy Bey Biography

28 October 1939, Newark, New Jersey, USA. One of the most underrated vocalists currently plying their trade, Bey was belatedly championed with the release of Ballads Blues & Bey in 1996. Bey was brought up in Newark and attended Arts High, a college with a prestigious roll call of jazz alumni including Sarah Vaughan, Wayne Shorter, Woody Shaw and James Moody. Vaughan was a primary influence on Bey, and the great singer made several visits to Bey’s sisters, Salome and Geraldine, at the family house. Later on during his career, Bey often found time to sing with Vaughan during informal sessions at club venues. A precocious talent, the eight-year old Bey was accompanied by tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley at several concerts, and in 1952, when he was 13, released his debut album. During the late 50s Bey toured with his sisters as Andy And The Bey Sisters, and the trio recorded three albums on the RCA - Victor Records and Riverside Records labels before disbanding in 1967.

Bey later worked with Max Roach, Duke Pearson, Gary Bartz, Philly Joe Jones, and had a long association with Horace Silver during the 70s, appearing on many of the pianist’s self-released and obscure metaphysical albums. Bey recorded a solitary session for Atlantic Records in the 70s, followed by several sessions as a leader in the following decades on independent labels. In 1996, Bey was deservedly placed back in the limelight when Evidence Records released Ballads Blues & Bey. On a powerful and emotional set of American classics, Bey’s baritone effortlessly cuts to the heart of every song, bringing out delicate nuances often glossed over by lesser singers.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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