Jazziz Review - April issue
Few singers inhabit a song with the same authority as Andy Bey.
At 64, the suave baritone can make you believe that he’s
lived every note he sings.
Bey takes the pop songs and Ellingtonia on this album and plumbs
emotional depths you never sensed. “Never Let Me Go”
is all romantic ardor and sincerity, while “Angel Eyes”
conveys equal measure heartache and inner strength. And few versions
of “Lush Life” have ever sounded so world-weary. He
moves so deep beneath the glamorous surface of “Satin Doll”
that most other versions sound like parodies.
A true jazz singer, Bey rethinks a tune each time he goes through
it. He elicits shades of meaning in “Paper Moon” and
“Speak Low,” for instance, with a different emphasis
on a word or phrase, a gentle inflection of a note, or a bit of
gritty texture. Some tracks provide Bey with discrete orchestral
settings, while others supply small-group accompaniment. The album
contains stellar supporting solos from pianist (and arranger)
Geri Allen, tenor saxophonist Frank Wess, and guitarist Paul Meyers.
Most of the tempos are slow—just a couple accelerate to
a medium clip—but nothing ever drags. Bey convinces you
that these songs shouldn’t be done any other way.”