Andy Bey
Kozmigroov Albums
Experience and Judgment [Atlantic, 1974]
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Andy Bey's astro-vegetarian work with Gary Bartz and Horace Silver in the 70s is pretty, as they say, evocative of the period, and I've just picked up the recent Atlantic/Koch reissue of Experience and Judgment from 1974. I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but it's a very, very good piece of Kozmigroov, with some pretty wild (perhaps not quite the word) synth from Bill Fischer (I assume this is the William S. Fischer of Embryo records fame), who also writes a good number of the songs, and space-violin by one Selwart Clarke, whom I am not familiar with. If you only know Bey from his recent, meditative acoustic albums on Evidence (which are nice, but not as all that as the critics would lead you to believe), then this should turn you around. Bey's voice is extremely flexible, and his tenor (which he sometimes drops an octave) possess that Jimmy-Scott/Chet Baker like in-between quality that gets under the skin. Plus, many lyrics about yoga and a Neil Sedaka cover. [DS]

Andy Bey is great....wish I knew his earlier stuff better, a la Andy and the Bey Sisters. The stuff he did with Bartz, or on Stanley Clarke's "Children Of Forever" album is wonderful. I even like the Horace Silve rmaterial, despite some truly specialized lyrics about human bodily functions. I've always found it interesting that a gay musician would end up recording with Mtume (he's on Alkebu Lan, I believe) and others during that early 1970s period of political stridency when not everybody on the cultural left was necessarily signed on to any kind of united front of causes. I'm sure there are interesting stories....makes me want to track Bey down. [ISH]