Andy Bey (p, vcl), Geraldine Bey, Salome Bey (vcl)
Reference: BMCD 1634
Bar code: 8427328016346
Andy Bey, American born pianist, singer, and composer, was 17 when he formed a trio with his siblings, Salome and Geraldine, called Andy and the Bey Sisters. This unique trio, working solo and in concert, hailed from Newark, N.J., in 1956, but had to move to Paris to garner recognition. They made more of a name touring Europe through 1959 than in their own country.
The reviews they got at Josephine Bakers Blue Note were all overly enthusiastic, and so when they went back home in early 1960, it was to start a nationwide tour under the aegis of George Wein, who had been positively impressed by their fresh approach to jazz. Their tour started, appropriately, with a three-week stand at Weins own Storyville in Boston.
The sides in this album were recorded at the RCA Victor studio in Nashville during the first week of December in 1960, under the supervision of Chet Atkins, and they were engineered by Bill Porter, who was responsible for every Victor hit to come out from the firms Nashville studio.
Before the album came out, they debuted for the label with one of the first compact 33 singles that RCA Victor shipped to dealers throughout the country. The record included You Cant Be Mine Anymore, an intriguing and swinging performance of a bright hunk of material, and Trees, with the trio handling the Joyce Kilmer composition with feeling and a slow tempo. These two tunes were also made available on a 45 rpm, and featured in their LP album debut, which was released a few weeks later.
Their first album introduced the trios warm and deeply rooted vocal style to a larger audience, giving them national recognition. They were down-home oriented, and came through with some evocative performances. The trio attacks their own arrangements with a kind of joyful ferocity, perfectly paced, tossing in amusing dialog which appears to be ad-libbed but apparently wasnt. The girls had a well-timed sense of fun and comedy: at times they seemed almost off-hand and informal, but they were consistently professional even while frolicking through an Ella Fitzgerald scat song. They were just disconcerting and highspirited enough to surprise a jaded jazz audience.
In addition, and as a bonus, this CD includes two outstanding performances from a 1961 RCA single: Big Mamou, one of the most widely known Cajun songs, and Wayne Shanklins Chanson damour, made famous around the world in the late 70s by the Manhattan Transfers cover, plus four jazzy tunes recorded when the Beys were in Paris and London. These last four tracks were originally released on a very rare French Fontana EP, and two of them feature the talent of jazz soloists Kenny Dorham and Barney Wilen. As the London Daily Herald published at the time, here is the worlds most exciting vocal group!.
"Legendary vocalist/pianist Andy Beys Andy and the Bey Sisters (RCA Victor/Fontana - Blue Moon) captures a tender moment when Bey was just 20 years old! A jazz icon, this reissue is a powerfully enriching way for Bey fans to hear his beginnings."
-The New York City Jazz Record (January, 2013)