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American Song
     

American Song

5.0 1
by Andy Bey
 
Veteran jazz singer and pianist Andy Bey has an unmistakable voice. Deep and taffy rich, it only gains in dramatic power through Bey’s striking use of ultra-slow tempos. American Song may be the finest album he’s produced since his rediscovery during the past ten years. The superb material and the exceptional personnel both have a great deal to do with the

Overview

Veteran jazz singer and pianist Andy Bey has an unmistakable voice. Deep and taffy rich, it only gains in dramatic power through Bey’s striking use of ultra-slow tempos. American Song may be the finest album he’s produced since his rediscovery during the past ten years. The superb material and the exceptional personnel both have a great deal to do with the album’s success. Familiar standards are the bill of fare, and while the repertoire may be overly comfortable on the surface, Bey brings the special glow of personal artistry to each. He burrows into the nooks and crannies of a song, finding the most expressive means to deliver a lyric and craftily tease a rhythmic phrase. And it doesn’t hurt the singer’s cause at all having pianist Gerri Allen and trombonist Steve Davis, as well as the legendary saxophonist and flautist Frank Wess, on board. Bey may be experiencing a late-career resurgence, but albums like American Song intimate that’s he’s just warming up.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
The legendary singer's connections to the golden age of bebop -- he performed from the '50s on with legends like Horace Silver, Eddie Harris, Max Roach, and McCoy Tyner -- definitely inform his subtle, low-key approach to the easy-breathing, sensitive arrangements of numerous classics here. The sticker on the album reminds listeners that he was voted 2003 Vocalist of the Year by the Jazz Journalist's Association and that he's "one of the most distinctive singers in jazz" (New York Times). You'll definitely agree if you generally like your jazz slow and soft as sweet molasses (with a few swinging exceptions like "Caravan") and you miss the one-of-a-kind vocal timbre of Mel Tormé. Bey's voice is cut from a similarly velvet landscape, but infused with a richer soul and blues experience. He made his minor legend by focusing on nuance, and the lush, serpentine way he wraps himself around familiar lyrics really demands an attentive listen. The only problem with so many slow numbers and a similar vocal style on each is a blending from one tune to the next. This type of laid-back jazz may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the voice is quite amazing if you have the patience to pay attention to every note.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/24/2004
Label:
Savoy Jazz
UPC:
0795041733023
catalogNumber:
17330
Rank:
23894

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Andy Bey   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Geri Allen   Piano
Dwight Andrews   Clarinet,Flute,Bass Clarinet,Alto Flute,Soprano Saxophone
Mino Cinelu   Percussion
Steve Davis   Trombone,Bass Trombone
Kiyoshi Kitagawa   Bass
Frank Wess   Flute,Tenor (Vocal),Soloist
Paul Meyers   Guitar
Vernell Garnett   Trumpet,Flugelhorn

Technical Credits

Leonard Bernstein   Composer
Kurt Weill   Composer
Geri Allen   Arranger,Horn Arrangements
Andy Bey   Arranger
Lionel Hampton   Composer
Matt Dennis   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
Harold Arlen   Composer
Ogden Nash   Composer
Steve Backer   Executive Producer
Sonny Burke   Composer
Betty Comden   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Adolph Green   Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg   Composer
Dave Kowalski   Engineer
Jay Livingston   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Billy Strayhorn   Composer
Juan Tizol   Composer
David Ritz   Liner Notes
Herb Jordan   Arranger,Producer
J.J. Stelmach   Art Direction
Irving Gordon   Composer
Scott Johnson   Graphic Design
Billy Rose   Composer
Helmut Hien   Images

Customer Reviews

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American Song 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
norskjazz More than 1 year ago
This CD and "Ain't Necessarily So" are in a class by themselves. Excellent.