Bryan Ferry has a new album out this month. I’ve given it a few listens and one thing I’ve noticed is that Ferry’s voice has not changed a bit in the 41 years since he released his first solo record These Foolish Things back in 1973. His unique baritone vibrato sounds exactly the same as it did back then. Since he has never tried to reached for those really high notes, I guess that is not to unusual, but even when you listen to Frank Sinatra at the beginning of his career in the late 30’s and compare him to the Frank of the 70’s there is quite a shift. Maybe its the booze and cigarettes effect.
Oh, shouldn’t I compare Bryan Ferry to Frank Sinatra? Is that sacrilegious? Well, just like old Blue Eyes, Tony Bennett, Bing or even Perry Como; Ferry has been interpreting many musical genres including pop, rock, and jazz for his entire career. Not excluding his original work with Roxy Music, Ferry’s smokey smooth lounge style vocals, I would argue, has been the new standard for the next generation of classic crooners.
On this his 16th solo album Avonmore, Ferry continues the popular sound he created during the late Roxy years on albums like Flesh & Blood, Avalon, and Boys & Girls. It’s a style I absolutely love. I can almost see him sauntering out onto a smokey stage with a big band behind him and a row of beautiful dames on either side providing backing vocals, and “Giving the joint Atmosphere!” Ferry in his three piece suit with a forties style microphone in hand is the embodiment of cool, just like the chairman of the board was 60 years ago.
Avonmore is a great addition to the Ferry catalog! Give it a listen here and then pick it up, and add to your collection. It goes down smooth.