Generally speaking I tend to like different styles of music to "know their place," as it were. As one example of this is that – although there are exceptions to every rule – I typically favor the original version of a song as recorded by its original artist(s) as opposed to cover versions.
But, having said all this...
Every now and then, something different comes along that "piques my interest." For example, I have a CD of a Black Sabbath Tribute Band playing Abba's Greatest Hits. This may strike you as an unlikely combination, but it works surprisingly well.
As a twist of a different color, I also have a copy of Black and Bluegrass, which is a bluegrass tribute to Ozzy Osbourn and Black Sabbath. Once again, this works surprisingly well. (Bluegrass is perhaps best described as a mixture of folk music, hillbilly, country and western, and jazz. It's traditionally played on acoustic stringed instruments including the fiddle, five-string banjo, guitar, mandolin, and upright bass, which are often joined by a resonator guitar and, occasionally, an harmonica.)
And, as I've mentioned before, I also have Dub Side of the Moon, which is a reggae version of the classic Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. I know, I know … if you've not heard of this, your knee-jerk reaction will be to exclaim something like "You must be joking! How could anyone possibly improve on the original version of Dark Side of the Moon?" Well, I'm here to tell you that I saw Pink Floyd play this live at the Knebworth open-air concert in 1975, and I am hard-pushed to say which is my favorite – you have to hear the reggae version to believe it – you listen to that, and then we'll talk.
All of this to say that I just heard about a new instrumental album called The Jazz Age from Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music fame. Roxy Music are an English art rock band formed in 1971. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Roxy Music No. 98 on its "The Immortals – 100 The Greatest Artists of All Time" list. They really did have unique sound – who could forget A song For Europe, for example?
Thinking about this, which would you class as your Roxy Music favorite tracks? But we digress…
In The Jazz Age, Bryan has selected 13 songs from 11 albums, from his very first release "Roxy Music" (1972) to his recent solo record "Olympia" (2010). He's rearranged these compositions and had them performed in a "Roaring Twenties" (1920's) jazz style by his very own Jazz Orchestra.
Thus far I've only heard a few snippets from different tracks on the radio, but I have to say that those snippets have left me gasping for more...
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On the topic of Rodriguez, the film "Searching for Sugarman" won the Oscar for best documentary.
I also recommend this video of Rodriguez performing on the Late Show last August, backed by the CBS Orchestra and a string section!
As an aside, I used to be a roady for "The Human League" back in the late 1970s (I was at University on the student's "Joe Cool Roadshow" disco crew and we used to hire ourselves out to provide the kit for local groups...)
Just watched it - really good story! I'll try and get the DVD. Not sure why my "crowd" in those days called him Johnny Rodriguez but we did - even though its wrong. He seems like a really good person, as are his kids.
Incidentally, if you want to see a really good music documentary look for "Searching for Sugarman", about a guy (Rodriguez) who is a superstar in South Africa, but a manual labourer in Detroit. Truth is stranger than fiction. Besides on circuit, I think I saw it on Apple TV, and I am told that it has also been uploaded to youtube.
Lucky Sod! The nearest we got to it in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) was reading New Musical Express and seeing the gigs advertised. We used to dream about seeing the Who, the Stones et al. A friend of mine from those days went to see The Who in Brisbane a year or two ago and ended up with permanent tinnitus.... Which leads me to think I'm probably past concerts now. AND they're horrendously expensive...
I was wiring up a shop once (used to be a sparky amongst other things) and the Project Manager guy had a computer and one (and only one) CD - Simply Red. This he played incessantly, and it was interspersed with noises from his (night time scenes) screen saver - owls hooting and the like. These days, whenever I hear those Simply Red songs, I always wonder where the owls are....