I love Bryan Ferry, I love the 1920s (no wait what really? etc) and I even love novelty albums to some extent. Pretty sure Bry wouldn’t describe his new album as a novelty record but, well, concept album sounds ludicrous doesn’t it?
The Bryan Ferry Orchestra’s Jazz Age album basically sees Bryan and his pals doing jazz cover versions of some of his and Roxy Music’s biggest hits, and it really isn’t as awful (or Mike Flowers) as that sounds.
Timed to coincide with the big man’s 40th year in the industry (REALLY?), it’s basically big band Bryan and although some of it borders of lol, most of it is just brilliant and kind of just passes for tootly twenties jazz until you hear a riff you recognise and remember. Honest, put one track in a mixed bag playlist and put shuffle on and you’d totally forget and be all like, ‘what is this awesome track that I had the good sense to add? God I have the BEST taste in music when I’m drunk and in charge of Spotify and no-one can argue with that.’
Anyway – Bryan is a big ol’ jazz fan, the Guardian tells us, in a feature which also allows you to stream the whole album.
“I started my musical journey listening to a fair bit of jazz, mainly instrumental, and from diverse and contrasting periods.
“After 40 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, bringing a new and different life to these songs – a life without words.”
And why not, eh? I’d also add that the cover of the album owes a lot to the Jeeves & Wooster credits which were so marvellously rendered by Animation City. Dance little jazz men, dance!
See? There’s a little preview of one of the tracks below and if that takes your fancy you can listen to the whole thing here on the Guardian.