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Andy McKee

Whether you are talking about Andy McKee’s bass playing or his way of moving through life, three words say it - strength, passion and artistry. Having performed for twenty-five years with many jazz greats, his reputation stretches from his home base of New York, across the United States, to Europe and Japan. The deep resonance of Andy’s sound adds unmistakable dimension to every band he plays in. His impeccable time, musicianship and capacity for rhythmic invention were forged over years of in-the-trenches experience with many legendary jazz masters.

Andy’s hard-swinging approach evolved naturally from his formative years on Philadelphia’s jazz scene. Musicians like Hank Mobley, Johnny Hartman, Slide Hampton, and Clarence “Cee” Sharp provided a nurturing environment for him and other young players. Philly Joe Jones, in particular, was an important mentor. “Philly was like my musical father. I was really just starting out when he said, ’Come on. You’re with me’.” McKee adds, “We didn’t talk much about what we were playing; we just hung with the music. I learned through a sort of musical osmosis.” Of touring the US and Canada in 1979-1980, Andy says “Working side by side with Philly Joe was a unique and powerful opportunity to explore the language of jazz. And he brought such a personal sense of finesse and class to everything he did on and off the bandstand.”

The next major influence in Andy’s musical development came in 1983 when he debuted with The Elvin Jones Jazz Machine at the Village Vanguard. Over the next decade, Andy played with the group for years at a time as staff bassist on tour in Europe, the Middle East and at home in New York City. “Elvin was a genius. It took a while for me to understand how to interact with the circular quality of his playing. It demanded total commitment to the downbeat. It gave me great confidence to realize that Elvin Jones wanted me to set him up. And when I got it, he turned and gave me that smile...”

In the mid-80s, Andy was living in Paris. He performed and toured extensively with Mal Waldron, Clark Terry, Steve Lacy, Don Cherry, Horace Parlan, Steve Grossman, as well as European greats Daniel Humair, Marcial Solal and Franco D’Andrea and others. At about this time, he was introduced to one of the most celebrated French jazz pianist of the period, Michel Petrucciani. Between 1987 and 1991, he, Michel, and Victor Jones played to great acclaim at venues throughout Europe, Japan and the US. Andy remembers one of the greatest performances of his career at Tois, a town west of Paris: “We were on the bill with Miles, and he decided he wanted to play first (Miles could do that!). While he and his band rocked the house, we were backstage wondering how we got caught in such a predicament. Well, we were playing together a lot at the time, and there was a tremendous synergy in our performances. That night, we reached a little deeper and threw down hard. According to the critics, we stole the show.” Andy recorded two albums with Michel for the Dreyfus label.

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Album Review

Michael Rabinowitz: Next Chapter

Read "Next Chapter" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The title “world's best jazz bassoonist" is akin to “world's best tap dancer on hot coals," meaning there simply is not much competition for the honor. Even if there were, however, Michael Rabinowitz would no doubt outdistance any challengers and handily earn the blue ribbon for bassoon excellence. One reason is that, unlike others who have dabbled with the instrument, Rabinowitz is a full-time bassoonist who has spent years honing his craft, and a jazz musician who can improvise with ...

Album Review

Nelson Riveros: The Latin Side of Wes Montgomery

Read "The Latin Side of Wes Montgomery" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

After delving into the repertoire of legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery at a gig in the not-so-distant past, six-stringer Nelson Riveros was struck with the idea for this tribute project. Playing true to Montgomery's work and legacy, while pulling from his own Colombian roots and imbuing the music with varied elements drawn from the broader Latin lexicon, Riveros brands this album with a syncretic signature and a hefty helping of pure joy. Opening with “Road Song," Riveros retains ...

Album Review

Andy Mckee: One World

Read "One World" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Music is the universal language that everyone understands. Whether in the remote parts of a distant safari or the dense populace of an urban city, there exists a common bond that permeates every person who appreciates creativity. Jazz bassist Andy Mckee's new cd One World combines multiple world influences to arrive at a unique theme in his music that reaffirms the communication of music. With a contemporary feel that is full of substance, the music encompasses a global feel with ...

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Introducing Andy McKee, the #1 Most Downloaded YouTube.com Artist in the World

Introducing Andy McKee, the #1 Most Downloaded YouTube.com Artist in the World

Source: Paperwork Media

"Andy McKee is a genuine YouTube sensation. He's had over 7 million views on YouTube, placing him in the top 40 most-viewed videos of ALL TIME and the top 20 most-subscribed of all time." ~Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter “The most innovative and exciting fingerstyle guitarist to emerge in years...the most textural player of the instrument since Michael Hedges." . Don Ross, legendary fingerstyle guitarist CHICAGO (November 2007) - Andy McKee is music's newest international phenomenon. This self-described “guy from ...


Performance / Tour

JAZZ @ L'Artista with Richard Sussman - Piano & Andy McKee - Bass Wednesday's May 10 & 24 7-10 PM

JAZZ  @  L'Artista with Richard Sussman - Piano   &  Andy McKee - Bass Wednesday's May 10 & 24  7-10 PM

Source: All About Jazz

JAZZ @ L'Artista Wednesday 7-10 PM May 10 & 24, 2006 Richard Sussman - Piano Andy McKee - Bass L'Artista 500 Rt. 303 Orangeburg, NY 10962 To make reservations, Call Arens after 2 PM 845-359-0779 (about 1 mile North of Exit 5 on Palisades Pkwy & 3 miles south of Rt. 59) Hi Folks - I want to thank all of you ...


Performance / Tour

Gene Ess Quartet with Mika Pohjola, Andy Mckee, and Gene Jackson @ Kavehaz

Gene Ess Quartet with Mika Pohjola, Andy Mckee, and Gene Jackson @ Kavehaz

Source: All About Jazz

Gene Ess Quartet with Mika Pohjola, Andy McKee, and Gene Jackson at Kavehaz Jazz Cafe, NYC - September 3 and 4, 2004.

Guitarist Gene Ess and his quartet will be performing at the Kavehaz Jazz Cafe on September 3rd and 4th, 2004. Set begins at 10PM.

Gene Ess - guitar Mika Pohjola - piano Andy McKee - bass Gene Jackson - drums

“Even if you knew who Gene Shimosato was, you're still going to ...

“With a galvanizing postmodern mix suggesting both the discipline of Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the openness of Ornette’s Harmolodicians, the band [Andy McKee & NEXT] draws us in with a seductively intimate sound.” Chuck Berg Jazz Times - November 1997

“You hear all that on Sound Roots, which features McKee’s quintet, NEXT. Both as a dynamic composer and fearless, resourceful arranger... McKee consistently turns to the unexpected, keeping the listener happily surprised.” Zan Stewart DOWN BEAT - December 1997

“Throughout, bassist Andy McKee was the relatively silent, guiding force...” John Ephland DOWN BEAT - December 1997

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