News / Arts & Entertainment

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra Captures 'The Jazz Age'

FILE - English singer Bryan Ferry smiles during an interview in Berlin, October 12, 2010. FILE - English singer Bryan Ferry smiles during an interview in Berlin, October 12, 2010.
x
FILE - English singer Bryan Ferry smiles during an interview in Berlin, October 12, 2010.
FILE - English singer Bryan Ferry smiles during an interview in Berlin, October 12, 2010.
TEXT SIZE - +
Doug Levine
What’s old is new again, a saying that rings true for an instrumental album by The Bryan Ferry Orchestra called “The Jazz Age.” 

When you hear the name Bryan Ferry, 1920s jazz is probably the last thing that comes to mind.  This especially applies to instrumental jazz, since Ferry is known primarily as a vocalist.  However, for diehard fans of Bryan Ferry and his former band Roxy Music, a jazz album makes perfect sense, marking as it does the culmination of his lifelong interest in the form.

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra Captures 'The Jazz Age'
The Bryan Ferry Orchestra Captures 'The Jazz Age' i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Ferry was drawn to music while growing up in northern England.  An avid reader of jazz magazines, he also listened to his favorite groups on the radio.  One of the first jazz records he ever bought was the hit song “Bad Penny Blues,” by British musician Humphrey Lyttelton.  Later, he discovered the music of Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday and Ornette Coleman.  But it was the raw, New Orleans flavor of Louis Armstrong’s improvisations and Duke Ellington’s masterful arrangements that made the most lasting impressions on him.

Ferry says he was inspired by Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven groups, along with Ellington’s cool sophistication, as heard on Duke’s groundbreaking recording “Black and Tan Fantasy.”

x
​Ferry, 67, collaborated with his longtime music director and arranger Colin Good on “The Jazz Age.”  Ferry does not perform on the album, which comprises instrumental versions of tunes gleaned from his Roxy Music repertoire and solo work.

In an interview with The New York Times, Ferry said it was necessary to change the tempo of several Roxy Music songs.  He explained that “‘Avalon,’ for instance, is very slow and sultry in the Roxy version, and we tried it that way, but it didn’t work.” 

He added, “When we lifted the tempo, it became a kind of Creole, Mardis Gras kind of thing, which is fabulous.” 
 
The Orchestra also covers Roxy Music’s early hits “Do The Strand” and “Virginia Plain,” as well as “Reason or Rhyme” from Bryan Ferry’s previous solo release “Olympia.”

The upcoming “Jazz Age” tour will stop in more than 15 cities across the United Kingdom, including the New Theatre in Oxford and Royal Albert Hall in London.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Beyond Category

Saxophonist Craig Handy has an exciting new band called 2nd Line Smith, which combines the organ-jazz repertoire of Jimmy Smith with the “second line” rhythms of New Orleans parade music. Craig Handy joins "Beyond Category" host Eric Felten at Washington’s Bohemian Caverns jazz club to talk about the music and perform with the band.

Blogs