Last week, the world of bass was hit by the loss of Jeff Andrews – one of the true masters of low frequencies. For this reason, we have prepared a profile of this outstanding musician, whose unquestionable talent just cannot be overvalued.
Jeff Andrews grew up in Baltimore, Maryland where he was exposed to rock and jazz musicians in the late ’60s and early ’70s. This was bound to result in young Andrews falling in love with the new music of the 1970, which was later dubbed fusion. Between 1976 and 1978, he attended the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, from where he moved to the Berklee College of Music but left in 1980 because he was not able to take composition courses until his senior year, and those were his main focus. Towson State in Baltimore (1980 – 1981) was the last stop on Andrews’s education path.
After a stint in Los Angeles, he moved to New York City and was soon became on of the pillars of the fertile music scene:
“I played a lot with sax players. The cream of the crop and these guys were idols of mine. Wayne Shorter was one of my biggest influences and Mike Brecker of course. Playing with those guys I took the opportunity to pick up as much information from them as I could.”
It was around that time that Andrews started to “beset” Mike Stern trying to convince the latter to play with him after the guitarist’s run in the Miles Davis band, which eventually resulted in a long and fruitful relationship.
In 1983, Jeff Andrews started a collaboration with the legendary Blood, Sweat, and Tears. From then on, his career took off in such a way that the number of the biggest names in jazz in the man’s musical C.V. could give anybody a serious headache. Just take a quick look at the short list below:
1984 – 1986: Special EFX, Bill Evans
1988: Bob Mintzer Big Band/Quintet
1988: Gil Evans Orchestra
1989: Bob Berg – Mike Stern Band
1986 – 1989: Michael Brecker Band
1989 – 1991: Steps Ahead & Mike Mainieri
1990: Wayne Shorter Quintet, Larry Coryell Band
1993 – 1998: Mike Stern Trio (w/ drummer Dave Weckl), Vital Information (w/ drummer Steve Smith and guitarist Frank Gambale)
Andrews also performed with some of top names in jazz, fusion and funk, including the likes of Joe Zawinul, Bill Evans, Branford Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, Jack DeJohnette, Jaco Pastorius (trio basowe), Randy Brecker, Larry Coryell, David Sanborn, Bob Berg, Hiram Bullock
Dennis Chambers, McCoy Tyner, Adam Nussbaum, Kenny Kirkland, Omar Hakim, Peter Erskine, Robben Ford, Joshua Redman, Brian Blade, Dave or George Duke.
Jeff Andrews was also a successful teacher. In this role, he worked at the following schools: Manhattan School Of Music, NYC (Jazz Program Faculty), The New School, NYC (Jazz and Contemporary Music Program Faculty), Mannes College of Music, NYC (Jazz Extension Program Faculty), SUNY Purchase College (Jazz and Commercial Music Adjunct Professor). As an educator and clinician, he made appearances at numerous prestigious schools all over the world. Those included: Stockholm Music Conservatory (Sweden), Berklee College of Music (Boston, USA), Yamaha Music School (Tokyo, Japan), Musicians Institute (Los Angeles, USA), Manhattan School of Music (NYC), Sibelius Academy (Helsinki, Finland), University of Linz (Austria), North Texas State University (USA), New York University, Drummer’s Collective (NYC), Groeningen Music Academy (Netherlands), Bass Collective (NYC).
Jeff Andrews shared his knowledge and views also as a columnist writing for the Bass Player Magazine. Throughout his career, he used and endorsed equipment from such brands as: Eden (amps and cabinets), D’Addario (strings), Yamaha (basses and effects), Trickfish Amplification (amps and cabinets) or ZON (basses).
Sources: www.jeffandrews.biz, www.notreble.com, www.bassplayer.com