THE JAZZ AGE
THE BRYAN FERRY ORCHESTRA
Release date: Dec the 3rd 2012
If there was ever a musical icon and a decade destined to come together it is Bryan Ferry and the Roaring Twenties. The artist as creative powerhouse, with a dazzling career of endless surprise, delight and innovation, and the decade – a time of decadence and modernity and bright young things – all driven on by the thrill of it all.
So to celebrate and mark the 40th year anniversary of his incredible career both as a solo artist and as the creator of Roxy Music, Ferry has re-recorded some of his own compositions, performed by The Bryan Ferry Orchestra in the style of the 1920s.
Driven by his fascination for that time between the wars known as ‘The Jazz Age’, Ferry has recorded the songs as instrumentals. “A lot of the music I listen to nowadays is instrumental,” he explains “and I wanted my songs to have an alternative life, a life without words”. For the band, he has reunited many of the great British jazz musicians who played on his earlier tribute to the 1930s, the album ‘As Time Goes By’, including his long-term pianist and musical director Colin Good, with whom Ferry worked closely on these new arrangements.
‘The Jazz Age’ is an intoxicating collection of timeless songs awakening the spirits of Louis Armstrong’s Hot Seven, Bix Beiderbecke’s Wolverines and the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. From the thundering cascade of ‘Virginia Plain’ to the timeless weave of ‘Slave To Love’, ‘Avalon’ and ‘Reason or Rhyme’ – no shade from Ferry’s palette of musical styles is omitted. ‘The Bogus Man’, which made its debut on 1973’s For Your Pleasure, revives the jungle sounds of Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club band, while the arrangement of ‘Don’t Stop the Dance’ might have come from the pen of the great Don Redman.
Ferry has created a soundtrack for those endless champagne-fuelled parties documented by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and for a whole new generation. Above all, ‘The Jazz Age’ is pure Gatsbyesque bliss – irresistible and mesmerising, an album of devastating charm which we’ve been in ecstatic cahoots with all the time.
Produced by Bryan Ferry and Rhett Davies, ‘The Jazz Age’ will be released on November 26th 2012 on 10″ Vinyl Folio Edition, 12” Vinyl, CD and Digital editions.