Revisit The Sound of Andy Bey, Who Turns 80 This Month We revisit pianist, singer and composer Andy Bey throughout his life: growing up in Newark, N.J., working with Horace Silver, performing during his 1990s renaissance and now, looking back at 80.
Jonathan Chimene/Courtesy of the Artist
Jazz artist Andy Bey.
Jonathan Chimene/Courtesy of the Artist

Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program

Andy Bey At 80: A Love Letter To A Jazz LegendWBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Andy Bey At 80: A Love Letter To A Jazz Legend

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Here are a few indisputable truths about Andy Bey. First things first: as he approaches 80, Bey occupies the first rank of living jazz singers. He has led a circuitous career — starting out as a prodigy, slipping into obscurity, experiencing a late renaissance. And he's an original: nobody else has ever sounded quite like him and it's almost certain nobody else ever will.

"I've always been a loner, and I was looking for nobody's approval," Bey reflects. "I never tried to follow anybody, musically or otherwise." And in this episode of Jazz Night in America, we're celebrating his unique artistry and telling his story.

We'll listen in on an illuminating conversation between Bey and his producer, Herb Jordan. We'll hear tributes from collaborators, like guitarist Paul Meyers, and longtime admirers, like jazz-vocal guru Dominique Eade. And of course, we'll hear plenty of music — an exquisite, previously unissued concert recorded at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse in New York in 2002.

Set List:

  • "Pick Yourself Up" (Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields)
  • "Invitation" (Bronisław Kaper, Paul Francis Webster)
  • "Tuesdays In Chinatown" (Herb Jordan, Dorian Elliot)
  • "Riverman" (Nick Drake)
  • "All The Things You Are" (Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II)

Musicians:

Andy Bey, voice and piano; Paul Meyers, guitar; Joe Martin, bass; Mark McLean, drums.

Credits:

Host: Christian McBride; Producer: Alex Ariff; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Music Recorded by Ed Haber and George Wellington; Thanks to: Ashley Kahn, Jane Gilvin, Olivia Meyer, Kay Wolff, Joseph Fridman, and James Crawford. Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Executive Producers: Anya Grundman, Gabrielle Armand and Amy Niles; Senior Director of NPR Music: Lauren Onkey.

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