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.

Sign up for a sub­scrip­tion  right or below and I shall keep you post­ed on all the very best and worst in film, tele­vi­sion and music!

Speak Your Mind