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218
4.1 out of 5 stars
The Jazz Age
Format: Audio CDChange
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2012
One might think that taking a handful of Roxy Music classics and recrafting them for a jazz band to play in the style of Duke Ellington and others was a bonkers concept. Then if you also imagine that the sound quality will be slightly aged to provide a more traditional feel to the music then we really are thinking about fetching the straight waistcoat. But my curiosity got the better of me. I like Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry. I also like jazz. Would I like this combination? Ferry lends his name to the orchestra but does not appear. Surprisingly, this remake/remodel works. I found it better to try to forget the Roxy versions and just listen to this as a jazz album. The music is good - I particularly liked the syncopated tea dance arrangement of 'Just Like You', as well as the trumpet and clarinet-driven arrangement of 'Avalon'. 'Slave To Love' is superb and I found myself wanting to play it again and again. There is lots to enjoy on this album, particularly if you are fond of jazz. This is old-fashioned glam, but it has melody, musicianship and style - a bit like Mr Ferry. Not to everyone's taste, but I found this album entertaining and fun. Recommended.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2012
Who else but Bryan Ferry would have hit on the idea of re-arranging a selection of his own songs in the style of the 1920s? And who else but Bryan Ferry would have done it with such panache and such a wealth of different styles and musical textures? Ferry is renowned for his perfectionism and obsessive attention to detail, so it's no surprise that he has put this project in the capable hands of Colin Good as arranger and a selection of hand-picked jazz musicians who really know their stuff. And yet you don't have to be a jazz freak to appreciate this album, all you need is an ear for truly original and exciting music. I was so captivated that I didn't even miss Bryan's voice, which is saying something. His aim, as he has said in interviews, was to breathe new life into his music, and in this he has been spectacularly successful. If you hunger for something different, buy this record! You won't regret it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2012
Although this may not be what one would expect from Bryan Ferry, I really enjoyed this new album. He hasn't necessarily gone for the tracks you would expect, and there's more solo tracks than Roxy ones, but this just adds more interest. The tunes aren't always recognisable at the beginning of the track, and he's drawn out some interesting sub-themes to bring to the fore, but all the tunes become obvious after a while. This album should be of interest to anyone who likes jazz, and also Roxy fans who don't mind the tunes being tinkered around with, especially if by Bryan himself. i'm not a great fan of Dixieland jazz, but I loved this interpretation.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2013
In case you've missed it - and for the benefit of potential one-star reviewers, some of whom, I gather, have trouble reading - this is an instrumental album featuring Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry solo material in the style of very early jazz. And what a marvellous disc it is.

The thing is, it's not a gimmick, not a joke. In fact, it's a beautifully played tribute to an era and style of music that was, and remains, radical and adventurous (like the best Roxy material, really).

A first listen can be bracing: the sound is narrow and much (but not all) of the material is hard to recognise. Amazingly, as you listen, the sound broadens out and the music starts to connect. Sort of like jumping into a cold swimming pool: a shock to the system at first, but you soon find yourself floating and revelling in the feel of the water.

Get this for the material and, once you've had the taste, I suggest grabbing the JSP Hot Fives and Sevens and Jelly Roll Morton - Complete Recorded Work, 1926-1930 boxes. Bryan, I'm sure, would consider that the sign of a job well done.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2013
I love this CD - I've played it several times already ... don't recognise any of the tunes but that doesn't matter - it's soothing exciting jazz by a master musician.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2013
This was actually a present for someone else but I also love it!. It's a good variation on some of his old numbers. Very jazzy!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2013
Excellent cd, have to admit I have had trouble with matching some of the tracks to the original Bryan Ferry songs but very worthwhile.
Already booked seats at his cocert late this year.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2013
The album survives the initial 'comedy moment' of recognising the reworked songs and becomes a pleasant and interesting collection. Good for a Sunday morning.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Bryan Ferry fans will know that he often goes through crises of conscience and artistic uncertainty, periods of writer's block - he's been known to junk whole albums of new material, and opt for an album of covers, or 'readymades' as calls 'em. I am not an uncritical Roxy / Ferry fan, but given the thirty years since the last official Roxy album, any new music is welcome. 'The Jazz Age' is an undoubted joy, and a coruscating artistic success. True, Ferry's thumbprint on it comes only via his roles as producer, and composer, but his voice is nowhere to be found on this instrumental outing. But the skill of Ferry's longtime musical director, Colin Good, deserves much praise for his lustrous arrangements on 'The Jazz Age'. One of my favourites of Ferry's earlier songs, 'Just Like You', originally on 'Stranded' Stranded is here beautifully reworked into a dolorous, stylish piece that is truly moving. Similarly, 'The Bogus Man' is shorn perhaps of the sinister quality of its original recording, but works very well in this fruity incarnation. The only thing to me that hasn't transferred too well into the 'yellow cocktail music' transmutation is 'Avalon', which is a little too jaunty compared to the mellifluous, sinuous original version. Mention must also be made of Ferry's artful way in which he has remained faithful to the 'Jazz Age' he is celebrating, by rendering the album authentically in mono, coming out of the speakers like the horn on an old gramophone. One can almost imagine the soloists walking up to the microphone to play their lead parts, then stepping back into the band for the choruses like an old-school Dance Band. All in all, however, I am happy to have this added to the Ferry / Roxy items in my library, and I think I'll be playing this often to get through the cold winter nights ahead. It has real charm.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2012
This is an album of 13 of Roxy's & Ferry's solo tracks done in the style of the
Duke Ellington 20's Jungle Band, & in my opinion it's the album of the year.

This is EVERYTHING Joe Jackson's lame Ellington tribute wasn't. This truly sounds like 20's Duke. If you're a 20's & early 30's jazz fan, my initial take is this is awesome! (Though I have clue what Ferry has to do with it other than being the song writer). While there are no DE songs here, stylistically it's very close; even the production values imitate 1920's recordings.

As an example of the music, picture Ellington's East St Louis Toodle-oo (DE's original version, not Steely Dan's wonderful cover) with the melody from Love is The Drug. And it TOTALLY works!

Really highly recommended & a huge surprise. I don't know if a non Roxy
fan would enjoy it as much as I do, but just using my ears I don't
recognize 80% of the songs as Roxy anyways as most are so changed.
This is miles better than anything I've heard from current revivalists on the indy labels.
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