NPR logo Andy Bey's 'American Song'

Andy Bey's 'American Song'

Collection of Ballads Puts Jazz Singer Back in the Spotlight

Andy Bey's latest CD American Song will be released Februrary 24. hide caption

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Andy Bey's silky bass-baritone voice has been called "one of the finest instruments in jazz." He's got a unique way of mixing lyrics and melody to tell a story, and after more than five decades of making music, the 64-year-old musician has a growing legion of fans worldwide.

When he was just 12, Bey was performing with Louis Jordan at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Over the next 50 years, the Newark, N.J., native performed with jazz icons including Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Horace Silver, Max Roach and Lonnie Liston Smith.

Bey recently joined NPR's Tony Cox to talk about his new CD, American Song, due in stores February 24. Critics are hailing Bey's latest effort, calling him one of the greatest singers of ballads in jazz today. Bey has also gained notoriety for speaking out about being a gay man and HIV positive.