The Bryan Ferry Orchestra: The Jazz Age – review

(BMG)

Bryan Ferry has recreated Roxy Music's hits as languid instrumentals for a replica 1920s jazz band – but this is more than a tourist-trip to Gatsby-land. Ferry the jazz fan and his pianist Colin Good have mixed the soulful glide of the 1927 Duke Ellington Cotton Club band, the sinister purr of 1940s film noir and those Roxy qualities that went beyond Ferry's dinner-jackets – including their adventurous song structures, which give this vintage sound a very different melodic and harmonic spin. UK reeds virtuoso Alan Barnes and trumpeter Enrico Tomasso shine in an elegant lineup that reworks Avalon's crooning vocals and wah-wah guitars as gracefully wheeling clarinet sounds against brass whoops, turns the pounding of Love Is the Drug into louche brass polyphonies, and preserves Do the Strand as an invitation to dance – but to some eerie mutation of the Charleston. Ferry devotees will love it, and so might plenty of others.

Contributor

John Fordham

The GuardianTramp

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