Bryan Ferry’s New Album is a Note Perfect Love Letter to the Cotton Club.

UnknownThe idea behind the new Bryan Ferry album, The Jazz Age is likely to strike you in one of two ways. Either you’ll think it the most surprising but plainly inspired idea for an album imaginable. Or, well I can’t really think of an “or”. 

What’s he’s done is to have a root around his back catalogue of Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry classics, and to re-record them, re-imagine them actually, as 1920s early Cotton Club-era jazz numbers.

So songs like Do The Strand, Love Is The Drug and Virginia Plain are stripped of their vocals, glam guitars and anything at all even remotely modern, and re-styled as the sort of thing you might have heard from a young Louis Armstrong or Duke Ellington in one of those clubs in Harlem that would soon be all the rage in the 1930s.

1454108613_b1cb907b3cWhat you get instead is the sound of horns. This is the sort of record, you feel as you listen to it, that would have inspired the likes of Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane to pick up an instrument for the first time, and blow into it.

Meticulously recorded in pristine mono, it is above and beyond all else the sound of Gatsby, the driest of Martinis and prelapsarian elegance.

And yet, buried beneath this unimpeachably authentic sound of vintage Harlem, you can just about make out the shape of songs you know from a completely different context. From a different century in fact.

It’s quietly intoxicating. And you can get a taster of it from the video they made for Do The Strand, here.

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