283

Andy Bey: Experience and Judgement

By

Sign in to view read count
Andy Bey: Experience and Judgement When Andy Bey's 1996 album, 'Blues Ballads and Bey' appeared on the scene, the first impression was of a genius, cut from whole cloth. Like Kaspar Hauser, he appeared as if from nowhere, fully formed. But Andy Bey was no newcomer. He had a recording and performing history that stretched back almost 40 years. He recorded as a child prodigy, then with his sisters in Salome and Geraldine, and after they parted ways in the mid-60's he recorded with Duke Pearson, Gary Bartz, Horace Silver. His first solo album as an adult (and last before 'Blue Ballads and Bey') was 1974's 'Experience and Judgement' for Atlantic. Now, the good people at Koch have reissued this forgotten gem.

Those that became fans of Andy Bey through 'BB&B' and last years 'Shades of Bey' may be shocked by the sounds on 'Experience and Judgement'. The sublime interpreter of the great American song is gone, and in his place is a creature, part Jon Hendrix, part Jimi Hendrix, preaching the virtues of meditation and other paths to the inner light in a powerful window to his earlier career. This is not to say that if a listener is prepared (and open minded enough) for the funky side of Bey, that they won't be pleased, for 'Experience and Judgement' is a very satisfying disc.

In the same spirit as some of his work with Horace Silver, 'Experience and Judgement' illustrates a point in Bey's vocal evolution distant yet not disconnected from his current sound. It's almost as if someone had taken his 1999 voice, and compacted it's power, delivery and endowed it with a youthful excitement (or lack of maturity depending on your point of view). The degree to which the listener will appreciate 'Experience and Judgement' will have a lot to do with your appreciation for 70's funk jazz and a willingness (if mystical self-realization is not, how do they say 'your bag') to look past the lyrics at the totality of the performance.

This writer found 'Experience and Judgement' brimming with excitement, and found the muscularity and enthusiasm of the younger Bey well worth repeated listens.


Title: Experience and Judgement | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: KOCH International Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Pathways" CD/LP/Track Review Pathways
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Möbius Strip" CD/LP/Track Review Möbius Strip
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "The Drive" CD/LP/Track Review The Drive
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 16, 2016
Read "Makes My Heart Sway" CD/LP/Track Review Makes My Heart Sway
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "Secular Hymns" CD/LP/Track Review Secular Hymns
by John Eyles
Published: September 10, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.