6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An Unexpected Delight,
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This review is from: The Jazz Age (Audio CD)
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.