Monday, 9 April 2018

Andy Bey “Experience And Judgment” 1974 US Soul Jazz Funk (Best 100 -70’s Soul Funk Albums Groove Collector)

Andy Bey “Experience And Judgment” 1974 US Soul Jazz Funk  (Best 100 -70’s Soul Funk Albums Groove Collector)..top classic…! 
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Originally released in 1974, Experience And Judgement combines cosmic soul and spiritual jazz funk for a profound and uplifting listening experience. The powerful “Celestial Blues” kicks off the journey, a deeper and more sober version of the Gary Bartz classic, sets the mind-expanding tone for the entire record. Worth it alone for this spine-tingling track, but there is so much more to this album. Check out the high powered jazz funk on “Judgment,” the heavy “Tune Up,” “The Power Of My Mind,” “Experience,” and more. It’s easy to hear why this has been a highly sought-after diggers’ piece for decades, and we’re beyond stoked to see it finally get the official reissue it deserves. Heavyweight 180 gram pressing courtesy of Be With. Highly Recommended….!!!…..~ 


Criminally overlooked by academics, critics and purists who refuse to listening to anything outside of conventional jazz vernacular, Andy Bey’s delivery on Experience and Judgment goes beyond anything he previously committed to tape, revealing a spiritual side that’s punched up and supported by a jazz-funk ensemble. The album’s opener “Celestial Blues” finds Bey delivering lines that wouldn’t be out of place on Bill Withers records from this era, and the remainder of the album sounds similar to the works of such contemporaries as Roy Ayers and Gil Scott-Heron. It’s soul soothing music that’s been played with great reverence by the rare soul and funk community for years and rightly so, as Bey captures the essence of the soul world brilliantly, and fuses it into something that is uniquely his own…..by Rob Theakston….allmusic…~


Jazz funk classic and soulful vocals LP with spacey & mad funky instumentation !!! highly recommanded, including super soul vocals tracks and arrangments “hibiscus”,“celestial blues”,“tune up”… Recorded at Regent Studios, NY…..~


Way ahead of its time and profoundly relevant in these dark days, Andy Bey’s masterful Experience And Judgment is music to soothe the soul. From the striking cover art to the music contained within, this is as beautiful a record as you’re likely to come across. Against a backdrop of heavenly cosmic soul and spiritual jazz­ funk, Bey delivers eternal messages of universal love and peace that still possess great power. Greatly revered by the rare soul and funk community, this album is hugely in demand on vinyl. It has received one ­ poor quality ­ repress since its initial 1974 release so Be With Records do us all a favour by presenting a timely and official 180 gram edition. One of the most criminally underrated singers in all music, Andy Bey’s work with Horace Silver and Gary Bartz especially was nothing short of phenomenal. However, it’s his only album from the 70s that is widely regarded as his masterpiece. A one of a kind poetic suite, his spellbinding voice ­ an operatic baritone ­ is in extraordinary shape and his delivery goes beyond anything he’d previously committed to tape. The lyrical content reveals an optimistic and spiritual side ­ brimming with fire and heart ­ that is wonderfully complimented by his uplifting jazz ­funk ensemble. Opener “Celestial Blues” instantly sets the spine ­tingling tone that doesn’t let up for the entirety of this mind­ expanding journey. A more sober version than the one recorded with Bartz’ NTU Troop, its delicate mix is certainly more engaging. You’d think it impossible to follow that, yet the 11 subsequent tracks all flirt with perfection. Combining propulsive gospel flavours with deep, mellow vibes that vary the pace and levels of funk throughout, this is one metaphysical, sensual ride that will expand your mind, lest it wither and die. Fans of deep soul in general and, in particular, artists such as Gil Scott­ Heron, Roy Ayers, Bill Withers, Lonnie Liston Smith, Minnie Riperton and Billy Paul need to check this record….~


Yes, this is one ugly album cover. But what’s inside is as beautiful a record as you’re likely to come across. 

A long long time ago I promised a flood of music from Gary Bartz. I didn’t deliver on that promise. What can I say, my life is a morass of unfulfilled potential and broken promises. At least, that’s how it seems some of the time. 

Until I put on this and then everything is suddenly fine. Andy Bey is easily one of the most underrated figures in music. His work with Horace Silver and Gary Bartz especially is phenomenal. And this album is, well, eternal. It’s largely a laid-back affair, brimming with the echoes of cosmic soul in ways that aren’t too different from a lot of other contemporary albums, but this one has a certain fire and heart that just isn’t very common. It begins with a slowed down take on his ‘Celestial Blues’ that he had already recorded with Bartz’ NTU Troop. First time I heard this version I didn’t know how to react. I felt like a fly suspended in sweet funky amber. Followed by ‘Experience’, the most frantic and uptempo tune on the record, full of lyrics that would be difficult for anybody but Andy to sing and make sound this cool in elongated melodic gospel shouts from the lotus seat. “Judgment”, the other side of the coin, is slowly and heavier on the funk with some wickedly-recorded wah-guitar sounding like the microphone was in the hallway during the session. Andy deserves more credit as a pianist than he usually gets but it must be said that keys man Bill Fischer steals the show here. Acting as producer and also composer on some of the tunes, he definitely has a ‘mark’ of production here – but with his exquisite taste in analog synth tones and the absolutely perfect mix, you won’t hear me complaining about his production. His synth work and electric piano weave in and out of the music faster than an arcade old-school centipede, there and gone halfway before your awareness has caught up. In trying to find some more info on this album on the All-Knowing Interwebs, I have seen this album compared to Gil Scott-Heron in a few places. Which really makes no sense in terms of Gil’s vision and gestalt.. Where there IS a similarity is between this album and Brian Jackson, Gil’s co-conspirator. Now, THAT makes sense to me. 

Really really I mean it, not a bad song here. The scaled-down funk poetry of ‘Hibiscus’ hits all my buttons in the right place, perfect in every way of composition, lyric, execution, tonalities, textures, production. A heavily spiritual mind-expanding vibration just billows forth from your stereo speakers (or, um, iPod earbuds, I guess) to envelop you. “You Should’ve Have Seen The Way” is easily the funniest song about meditation I’ve ever come across. Granted, that makes it kind of a big fish in a small pool, but still… Story of guy taking a friend’s advice by trying to clear his mind and find his way through meditation, but he just can’t stop thinking about making love to a woman. Deep, metaphysical, sensual as hell. For all the buddhist vibe on this album it’s good to know Bey and company can keep it real. “Tune Up” is a more serious tune on a similar wavelength, one of my friend TY’s favorite tracks on this. More lyrics that would sound weird from anyone but Andy Bey, “like hypnotizing yourself up to a certain point,” it just kind of works on you and achieves in the listener an analog of what he’s singing about. 

So far there is nothing remotely commercial about whats been presented here (jazz purists be damned, this stuff is too obscure and deep to be selling out to anyone). Then we should be all the more surprised by the next tune, a ballad lifted from Neil Sedaka. That’s right – Neil fucking Sedaka! And he just kills us with it. It becomes a love sonnet sung from across the veil of mortality, sung from a dead man to his widow. Granted all that was already in the lyrics but goddamn if Andy Bey doesn’t make it all come together and work on this album. By now we are ¾ through the album and the remainder is pretty low-key and mellow. Nothing to grab you like what’s already come before but just enough going on to keep you engaged, going out on a wonderfully optimistic and sensual mindsex epic of “The Power of My Mind”. 

It’s always weird to stop and think about how friends are brought together out of seemingly random occurrences, some drifting apart, some always there, some coming back like cycles of the moon. And when I ask myself why it took me so long to post this record, because it had been on my ‘short list’ for about a year now, I think it must have to do with that elusive ephemeral thing called friendship. I remembered it, suddenly, and sent it to someone who I think may have needed it right then. And a few days later we were having an intense conversation that ostensibly had nothing to do with this album but yet also had everything to do with this album. And that is one of the great qualities of “Experience and Judgment” – although you can call it ‘soul jazz’ or ‘spiritual jazz’, it is of an earthly sort of cosmic consciousness, one imbued with the substance of day to day living and struggle, that keeps its lyrics even at their most abstract from flying untethered into the blinding light of oneness, instead staying in the air for a while to light our way as we listen. I can’t recommend this album enough. …by….FLABBERGASTED VIBES….~


Way ahead of its time and profoundly relevant in these dark days, Andy Bey’s masterful Experience And Judgment is music to soothe the soul. From the striking cover art to the music contained within, this is as beautiful a record as you’re likely to come across. Against a backdrop of heavenly cosmic soul and spiritual jazz-funk, Bey delivers eternal messages of universal love and peace that still possess great power. Greatly revered by the rare soul and funk community, this album is hugely in demand on vinyl. It has received one - poor quality – repress since its initial 1974 release so Be With Records do us all a favour by presenting a timely and official 180g edition. 

One of the most criminally underrated singers in all music, Andy Bey’s work with Horace Silver and Gary Bartz especially was nothing short of phenomenal. However, it’s his only album from the 70s that is widely regarded as his masterpiece. A one of a kind poetic suite, his spellbinding voice – an operatic baritone - is in extraordinary shape and his delivery goes beyond anything he’d previously committed to tape. The lyrical content reveals an optimistic and spiritual side – brimming with fire and heart - that is wonderfully complimented by his uplifting jazz-funk ensemble. 

Opener “Celestial Blues” instantly sets the spine-tingling tone that doesn’t let up for the entirety of this mind-expanding journey. A more sober version than the one recorded with Bartz’s NTU Troop, its delicate mix is certainly more engaging. You’d think it impossible to follow that, yet the 11 subsequent tracks all flirt with perfection. Combining propulsive gospel flavours with deep, mellow vibes that vary the pace and levels of funk throughout, this is one metaphysical, sensual ride that will expand your mind, lest it wither and die. 
Fans of deep soul in general and, in particular, artists such as Gil Scott-Heron, Roy Ayers, Bill Withers, Lonnie Liston Smith, Minnie Riperton and Billy Paul need to check this record….~


Debut solo LP from this jazz vocal veteran who has a unique four-octave baritone voice. This is a huge departure from his hard bop styles. Instead he gets spiritual, spacey, funky, collaborating with experimental jazz rock composer William S. Fischer. The album starts off with the jazz funk anthem “Celestial Blues” which was written by Bey, but recorded a few year’s earlier by Gary Bartz. The 1974 version recorded by Bey is a much slower, punchier recording and filthy funky. The rest of that album is a good listen, but pales in comparison to the lead off cut. Bey went on to record with Stanley Clarke in 1976 on his fusiony Children Of Forever LP. He would not put out any solo records until the mid 90s which went back to his vocal jazz tendencies…..~


After departing jazz group Andy & The Bey Sisters, Andy Bey’s 1974 solo outing recalls his work with Gary Bartz on the 1971 album Harlem Bush Music - Uhuru, featuring a remake of that record’s “Celestial Blues.” Bey also previously played with Horace Silver. Exact repro, manufactured by Rhino…..~


Andy Bey is well known through his association with saxophonist Gary Bartz – his mellifluous barritone graces several of Bartz’ most sought after LPs from the early 70s – but it’s on this solo album that he really shines the brightest! 
Criminally overlooked by academics, critics and purists who refuse to listening to anything outside of conventional jazz vernacular, Andy Bey’s delivery on Experience and Judgment goes beyond anything he previously committed to tape, revealing a spiritual side that’s punched up and supported by a jazz-funk ensemble. The album’s opener “Celestial Blues” finds Bey delivering lines that wouldn’t be out of place on Bill Withers records from this era, and the remainder of the album sounds similar to the works of such contemporaries as Roy Ayers and Gil Scott-Heron. It’s soul soothing music that’s been played with great reverence by the rare soul and funk community for years and rightly so, as Bey captures the essence of the soul world brilliantly, and fuses it into something that is uniquely his own. 
These are real songs delivered in a unique and creative style with an early 70s indy label deep jazz feel!….~


Andy Bey’s only album from the 70’s is probably his masterpiece in a career that wasn’t very prolific along the years. He sang on Stanley Clarke’s first incarnation (the lovely “Children of Forever“) and on the best Gary Bartz couple of albums (“Taifa” and “Uhuru“), where his voice is on extraordinary shape. In fact, only a year have passed since those two albums were recorded and for several reasons “Experience and Judgement” is the magnificent sequel to that marvellous cosmic soul inside those albums. “Celestial Blues” is again here, in a more sober version but we truly miss the wonderful hand percussion on the Bartz album. Nevertheless is great too…..~

There’s nothing more we could say about the idiosyncratic and fascinating voice of Andy Bey. His operatic baritone flavour is spine-chilling and the music is just uplifting, near the best cosmic soul ever recorded (Lonnie Liston Smith, Minnie Riperton, Billy Paul, Spacek). The album is full of cheerful jazz-funk rhythms, moogs travelling through light, tasty bass, synthesizers and other delicious things from the typical 70’s production. Atlantic classic for sure! (antonbildern Rate your Music)…~


Andy Bey

When Andy Bey first shaved his head in 1973, it was for a part in a play called Holy Moses. “I was playing a bigger-than-life figure,” he says, hesitating for a moment. “I was supposed to be playing God, believe it or not.” Now Bey has traded his signature bald pate for a blanket of dreadlocks. “I thought it would be healthier for me to have hair. A lot of people thought I couldn’t grow hair. I wasn’t sure I wanted locks, because I didn’t know if I wanted to deal with all the maintenance. You oil it once a week and wash it from time to time. I put a cap on each night. I plan to let it keep growing. Even if I cut it, I’m not going to go bald anymore.”

We are sitting in Bey’s studio apartment on the western edge of Manhattan’s Chelsea district, where he has lived for the last 13 years. Originally from Newark, N.J., Bey knew the Shorter brothers-Wayne and Alan-when they were both teenagers. (Bey was about 11.) He moved to New York, “where the action is,” in 1970, spending time in the Bronx, the East Village and the Upper West Side before settling into his current abode.

The place is purely functional: there’s a futon bed, an ironing board, assorted pieces of furniture and luggage and an upright piano with a handful of spiral music notebooks nearby. In the next room is a kitchenette, in some disarray. Hanging on the wall, there is a document proclaiming February 10, 2001, to be “Andy Bey Day” in the city of New Orleans.

Bey is openly gay and HIV-positive and in relatively good health, though he’s candid about his limitations. “My problem is the energy, having the energy to take care of my place. I try to take the garbage out, dust, wash the dishes, do what I can do. In fact, I just took out two tons of stuff before you got here.” He cites yoga and a strict vegetarian diet as crucial to his continued vitality as a performer.

At 64, Bey is perhaps more in-demand now than ever before. He came on the scene in the mid-’50s, accompanied by the Bey Sisters, Geraldine and Salome (just two of his seven sisters, in fact). In the ensuing decades he performed and recorded extensively with Gary Bartz and Horace Silver and issued his own Experience and Judgment in 1974. These efforts featured what Bey calls his “power singing,” in contrast to the more intimate “soft palate” singing heard on his latest recordings: Ballads, Blues & Bey, Shades of Bey, Tuesdays in Chinatown and the brand-new Savoy outing American Song.

Still, one can hear traces of Bey’s R&B-tinged “power” voice on tunes like “Satin Doll” and “Caravan,” both from the new album. “I have that other option, to sing with that kind of strong forte,” he says. “My main thing is the basic baritone, breathy. The power thing is just optional, singing beyond my range. I can sing tenor notes but I can’t sing them the way a tenor sings them.”

Bey has collaborated recently with singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman, saxophonist Michael Hashim (on an all-Strayhorn concert program) and trumpeter/composer Dave Douglas, whose poetry-inspired “Word” project premiered at the Village Vanguard in October 2003. “I’ve known Dave since 1987, when we did a tour with Horace Silver,” Bey says. With Douglas’ group, Bey departs sharply from the Songbook, singing verse by the likes of Adrienne Rich, Gwendolyn Brooks and Basho.

Bey seems thankful for his newfound and well-deserved popularity. He’s also a bit road-weary, but more than willing to live the life of a performer, even with the added challenge of keeping disease at bay. There’s a note of optimism in his musings: “If anything, I’m more consciously aware that you have to take care.”

Personal File

Fitness?

“My late sister, Sadie, bless her heart, she got me involved in yoga in the 1970s. I’d been doing it off and on, but I have to do it every day now. It’s very beneficial. It’s like internal healing. I do something every morning, and I’ve had to create a system of doing it on the road, keeping my sinuses open to sing, so I do a little routine on the bed. I do some breathing exercises too. The road can be treacherous. You have to sing in all kinds of situations. You have to be fit, because singing is very physical.”

Food?

Bey gave up red meat in 1972. “I was eating fish and chicken but, I’ve stopped that in the last two or three years. I go to Healthy Chelsea to buy vitamins, and they always give me soups to take home. I put them in my freezer. I cook some basic stuff like brown rice and vegetables or beans or tofu dishes. I go to a place called Vegetarian’s Paradise; they have very good food. I eat a lot of fruit, and I take a lot of supplements as well. I have a juicer, but I haven’t had time to juice, so I go to the health food store and get wheat grass or grain juices, or I take wheat grass tablets or spirulina or chlorophyll, because you need a lot of green. I also buy this stuff called Green Magma, which is great in some orange juice or water, when you can’t get wheat grass on the road.”

Clothes?

“I like wearing nice, elegant suits, but I don’t like wearing ties. Maybe a mock turtleneck. I also like wearing these open-neck shirts, almost like dashiki shirts, with sleeves. If I don’t feel like wearing a jacket I’ll wear that.”

Books?

“I like reading stuff based on philosophy, metaphysical stuff and also autobiographies. Right now I’m finishing Jimmy Scott’s biography by David Ritz, who wrote my liner notes. I’ve read his Marvin Gaye book, and Aretha’s book-she mentions me in her autobiography, because I knew her from 1960, before ‘Respect’ and all those things.”…..By David R. Adler…Jazz Times….~

Classic album of wicked funky deep jazz vocals! 
Andy Bey is well known through his association with saxophonist Gary Bartz - his mellifluous barritone graces several of Bartz’ most sought after LPs from the early 70s - but it’s on this solo album that he really shines the brightest! 
These are real songs delivered in a unique and creative style with an early 1970s indy label deep jazz feel! 
Recommended!…~ 

Recorded at Regent Studios, NY

Andy Bey – Vocals, Acoustic Piano
Buddy Williams, Jimmy Young – drums
Wilbur Bascomb – Bass
William Fischer – Electric Piano, Organ, Harpsichord, Synthesizer, Percussion
Electric Bass – Wilbur Bascomb
George Davis – guitar (Track 2 only)
Richard Resnicoff – guitar
Engineer – Bob Liftin
Guitar – George Davis (2) , Richard Resnicoff (tracks: 2, 3, 8, 9)
Selwart Clarke – Violen, viola

Produced by by William Fischer

Tracklist
A1 Celestial Blues 3:20
A2 Experience 2:58
A3 Judgment 3:00
A4 I Know This Love Can’t Be Wrong 3:15
A5 Hibiscus 4:58
A6 You Should’ve Seen The Way 2:30
B1 Tune Up 4:11
B2 Rosemary Blue 3:29
B3 Being Uptight 3:12
B4 A Place Where Love Is 4:40
B5 Trust Us To Find The Way 2:43
B6 The Power Of My Mind 2:58

Discography 

Now! Hear! (Prestige, 1964) with Jerome Richardson, Kenny Burrell - (with Bey Sisters)
Round Midnight (Prestige, 1965) with Kenny Burrell, Milt Hinton, Osie Johnson - (with Bey Sisters)
Experience and Judgment (Atlantic, 1974)
As Time Goes By (live) (Jazzette, 1991)
It’s Got to Be Funky with Horace Silver (Columbia, 1993)
Ballads, Blues and Bey (Evidence, 1996)
Shades of Bey (Evidence, 1998)
Tuesdays in Chinatown (Encoded, 2001)
Chillin’ (Minor Music, 2003)
American Song (Savoy Jazz, 2004)
Ain’t Necessarily So (12th Street, 2007)
The World According to Andy Bey (HighNote, 2013)
Pages From an Imaginary Life (HighNote, 2014) 

With Gary Bartz

Harlem Bush Music (Milestone, 1970–71)
Juju Street Songs (Prestige, 1972) 

With Max Roach

Members, Don’t Git Weary (Atlantic, 1968) 

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