The Jazz Age

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Over the last 40 years, singer Bryan Ferry has established himself not only as the frontman of one of rock's most iconic bands, but also as a unique interpreter covering the songs of others. The songwriters he's covered have been transformed into something wholly other by him. Ferry's ability to find and reveal what is hidden in a lyric, a musical phrase, or even a key signature is uncanny. The Jazz Age finds Ferry covering himself in radical fashion: he doesn't sing. He is credited as co-producer (with Rhett Davies) and "director." The Jazz Age celebrates Ferry's 40th anniversary in music by re-recording some of his classic tunes -- from the 1972 Roxy Music album to 2010's ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Over the last 40 years, singer Bryan Ferry has established himself not only as the frontman of one of rock's most iconic bands, but also as a unique interpreter covering the songs of others. The songwriters he's covered have been transformed into something wholly other by him. Ferry's ability to find and reveal what is hidden in a lyric, a musical phrase, or even a key signature is uncanny. The Jazz Age finds Ferry covering himself in radical fashion: he doesn't sing. He is credited as co-producer (with Rhett Davies) and "director." The Jazz Age celebrates Ferry's 40th anniversary in music by re-recording some of his classic tunes -- from the 1972 Roxy Music album to 2010's Olympia -- inspired by the sounds of '20s jazz. Ferry's looked deeply into the past before -- 1999's As Time Goes By paid tribute to the music of the '30s, an album of sung standards from the era -- but not his own. This set was performed by many of the same British jazz musicians who performed on that record under the musical direction of Colin Good. Musically, Ferry and these musicians drew on the influences of Louis Armstrong's Hot Sevens, Duke Ellington's Orchestra, Bix Beiderbecke's Wolverines, and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. But they also found inspiration in the heady historical era before 1929 detailed so intensely in the novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Michael Arlen, and Ernest Hemingway. All 13 of these tunes have been wildly revamped and offer interesting textures: a bass clarinet and baritone saxophone are used instead of a double bass to carry the bottom end, but the music here is played so well, it doesn't feel gimmicky. All of the original melodies have been left intact, though tempos are often completely reset. The sprightly "Do the Strand" features piano, brass, reeds, banjo, and drums all competing for dominance (they were recorded live in the studio), and swings hard. "Love Is the Drug" is played as a moaning, bluesy dirge, while "Avalon" retains its sense of melancholy even as clarinets, trumpets, and piano commingle in a midtempo dialogue on different aspects of the melody. "Virginia Plain" is a fingerpopping dancefloor jaunt that recalls flappers doing the Lindy Hop. Given that Ferry doesn't sing on The Jazz Age, the appeal for casual fans is debatable. But for the faithful, trad-jazz heads, and open-minded listeners, the musical quality -- from expert arrangements, virtuosic playing, and the brilliant concept -- offer something wholly different and rewarding.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/4/2012
  • Label: Bmg Europe
  • EAN: 4050538007596
  • Catalog Number: 3800759
  • Sales rank: 44,249

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Do The Strand (2:10)
  2. 2 Love Is The Drug (3:14)
  3. 3 Don't Stop the Dance (2:51)
  4. 4 Just Like You (3:24)
  5. 5 Avalon (2:23)
  6. 6 The Bogus Man (2:07)
  7. 7 Slave To Love (2:38)
  8. 8 This Is Tomorrow (2:27)
  9. 9 The Only Face (2:57)
  10. 10 I Thought (2:35)
  11. 11 Reason Or Rhyme (4:15)
  12. 12 Virginia Plain (2:14)
  13. 13 This Island Earth (4:26)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Bryan Ferry Orchestra Primary Artist
Bryan Ferry Indexed Contributor
Alan Barnes Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone
Chris Laurence Double Bass
Frank Ricotti Percussion
John Sutton Drums
Enrico Tomasso Trumpet, Cornet
Colin Good Piano
Malcolm Earle Smith Trombone
Robert Fowler Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Martin Wheatley Banjo, Guitar
Emma Owens Viola
Victoria Sutherland Violin
Sarah Chapman Viola
Emma Parker Violin
Richard White Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bass Saxophone
Katy Cox Cello
Technical Credits
Bryan Ferry Composer, Director, Producer, Liner Notes
Rhett Davies Producer, Engineer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Colin Good Arranger
Simon Willey Engineer
Paul Colin Illustrations
Richard Williams Liner Notes
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