Magazine article The New Yorker

Jazz Singer; Portrait by Richard Avedon

Magazine article The New Yorker

Jazz Singer; Portrait by Richard Avedon

Article excerpt

Artists generally age like the rest of us, bidding a grudging goodbye to the horsepower of youth and leaning on stories from earlier, faster days. Some, though, build slowly and keep the heat on. When it works, methods and habits fuse into a single, thick style that simultaneously enhances ideas and celebrates its own peculiarities. Meet Andy Bey. Now sixty-four, the Newark-born pianist and singer was performing on bills with Louis Jordan at the Apollo when he was twelve. His admirers have included John Coltrane and Sarah Vaughan. In the nineteen-sixties, Bey formed a trio with his sisters Salome and Geraldine, recording for Prestige and touring Europe. In the seventies, he worked with Horace Silver, made jubilant records with the saxophonist Gary Bartz, and recorded "Experience and Judgment" (1974), a solo album that remains a cult favorite. A few years ago, Bey returned to the studio with the producer Herb Jordan and began making a series of records concentrating on ballads and standards. …

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