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 modernity, decadence 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. “I started my musical journey listening to a fair bit of jazz, mainly instrumental, and from diverse and contrasting periods” explains Ferry. “I loved the way the great soloists would pick up a tune and shake it up – go somewhere completely different – and then return gracefully back to the melody, as if nothing had happened. This seemed to me to reach a sublime peak with the music of Charlie Parker, and later Ornette Colman. More recently, I have been drawn back to the roots, to the weird and wonderful music of the 1920s – the decade that became known as The Jazz Age”
“After forty years of making records, both in and out of Roxy Music, I thought now might be an interesting moment to revisit some of these songs, and approach them as instrumentals in the style of that magical period. I would like to thank Colin Good and the other outstanding musicians featured on this record (most of who played on his earlier tribute to the 1930s, the album ‘As Time Goes By’) for bringing a new and different life to these songs – a life without words”.
‘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 heady 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 -‘The Jazz Age’ is pure Gatsbyesque bliss.
1. Do The Strand. 8. This Is Tomorrow.
2. Love Is The Drug. 9. The Only Face.
3. Don’t Stop The Dance. 10. I Thought.
4. Just Like You. 11. Reason Or Rhyme
5. Avalon. 12. Virginia Plain.
6. The Bogus Man. 13. This Island Earth.
7. Slave To Love.
Produced by Bryan Ferry and Rhett Davies, ‘The Jazz Age’ will be released on November 26th on 10″ Vinyl Folio Edition, 12″ Vinyl, CD and Digital editions – all on BMG Rights Management.