Born: November 11, 1953
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.”...
“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
“McKee was entrusted with the largest shoes to fill.....