In Memoriam: Jeff Andrews
Sad news to report today: jazz bassist Jeff Andrews has passed away. A cause of death has not been announced, although he was battling double pneumonia earlier this year. He was 59 years old.
Andrews was raised in Baltimore, Maryland where he grew up hearing rock and jazz musicians melding their styles in the late ’60s and early ’70s. He briefly attended the Berklee College of Music but left school because he was not able to take composition courses, which were his main focus, until his senior year. Andrews spent some time in Los Angeles before moving into the fertile jazz scene in New York City and was soon playing with an amazing array of saxophonists like Wayne Shorter, Bob Mintzer, and Michael Brecker.
“I played a lot with sax players…. the cream of the crop and these guys were idols of mine,” he stated. “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 also during this time that he became the first musician to book gigs at the now world-famous 55 Bar. He started calling Mike Stern to play with him after the guitarist’s run in the Miles Davis band, leading to a long and fruitful relationship.
Andrews also worked with Vital Information, Frank Gambale, Larry Coryell, Bob Berg, Gil Evans, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Dennis Chambers, and many more. He was a prominent teacher and taught at the Manhattan School of Music, The New School, Mannes College of Music, and SUNY Purchase in addition to his private students and numerous clinics around the world.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Jeff Andrews.