Jazz Age

Jazz Age

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by The Bryan Ferry Orchestra
     
 

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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… See more details below

Overview

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:
12/04/2012
Label:
Bmg Europe
UPC:
4050538007596
catalogNumber:
3800759
Rank:
71880

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Do The Strand  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  2. Love Is The Drug  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  3. Don't Stop the Dance  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  4. Just Like You  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  5. Avalon  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  6. The Bogus Man  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  7. Slave To Love  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  8. This Is Tomorrow  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  9. The Only Face  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  10. I Thought  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  11. Reason Or Rhyme  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  12. Virginia Plain  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra
  13. This Island Earth  -  Bryan Ferry Orchestra

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

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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