Album Review: Bryan Ferry covers his own material on ‘The Jazz Age’ giving them a 1920’s jazz-makeover.
Bryan Ferry has always embraced kitsch; early Roxy Music was full of wry humor and funky, overblown fashion.
And he’s always enjoyed a good cover, putting his own stamp on material by such artists as John Lennon, Tim Buckley and Bob Dylan…to name but a few (check out my list on Best Cover Songs of All Time, featuring several Ferry/Roxy tunes)..
And he’s covered jazz standards on albums ‘Taxi‘ and ‘As Time Goes By‘.
But Ferry has now gone full-bore into jazz and is now covering……himself.
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‘The Jazz Age‘ takes a bevy of songs from his Roxy Music and solo catalogue and serves them up 1920’s jazz style. ‘Love Is The Drug‘ sounds like Dixieland played at a state fair, with horns bobbing alongside twangy banjos.
‘Avalon‘ has a Bossa Nova kick, making you feel like you’re hearing band music drifting into your imaginary tropical hotel room.
‘Slave To Love’ has a playful Big Band riff; I see visions of dapper couples swinging like crazy on a big ballroom floor.
There’s a catch to this album though; he doesn’t sing a note. I have no idea if he even plays an instrument on the album (it’s credited to The Bryan Ferry Orchestra) .
‘The Jazz Age‘ is hardly essential listening, and it’s perilously close to a novelty album. But it’s pretty fun and would make great background music for a subdued dinner party, quiet reflection or a romantic evening at home.
(Speaking of romance, check out my awesome Valentine’s Day Playlist, featuring several Ferry/Roxy tunes).
If you’re a Ferry loyalist or enjoy the tunes you hear on HBO’s’ Boardwalk Empire, give ‘The Jazz Age’ a whirl. It’s a playful diversion until the next proper solo or (fingers crossed, Roxy Music) album comes along.
Want to preview/buy Bryan Ferry’s The Jazz Age on iTunes or Amazon? I’ll have links below. And you can buy the super cool Roxy Music Box Set by clicking here.