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Bryan Ferry’s Old, Unknown World

Roxy Music singer recasts his hits in 'The Jazz Age'

Bryan Ferry

Jazz and rock fans alike might find the sleek musical élan of Bryan Ferry-Roxy Music’s principal songwriter, with a solo career to match those early glam triumphs-and the rough-and-ready strut of 1920s gutbucket music an odd pairing, but Ferry has always been a dispeller of preconceptions. His Orchestra’s recent The Jazz Age (BMG)-a baker’s dozen of classic Ferry tunes, recast as instrumentals that Louis Armstrong might have soloed over-is the latest case in point.

“For some time I had wanted to do an album of instrumental versions of my songs,” says Ferry, 67. “That was the initial aim of this record, and it just occurred to me one day that it would be interesting to do them in this period ’20s style. Like most things, it was a question of trial and error, but we soon discovered that some of my songs lent themselves to this genre of music.”

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