Bryan Ferry Brings Lush Pop Sounds To Montclair - Thu 29th Sep

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The Montclair Times

Bryan Ferry's music is urbane and smooth, taking listeners to a small, exclusive nightclub.

For one night, that proverbal nightclub will be The Wellmont Theatre. He'll be appearing this Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m., along with "Phenomenal Handclap Band." Tickets are $45 to $95, and can be reserved by calling the box office at             877-WELLMNT       (            877-935-5668      ). Ferry co-founded and fronted the art and glam rock outfit, "Roxy Music," whose swan song, 1981's "Avalon," helped define '80s soft rock, and has influenced numerous groups since, including "Duran Duran." Since leaving the band, Ferry's consistently written and performed solo albums that have continued in the tradition of the seductive sounds of "Avalon."

Ferry's sound has become ubiquitous in other bands since the 1980s, but it's a sound he's largely responsible for creating.

When asked about his songwriting process, Ferry said, "I always write the music first. Even when you start a song from a detached point of view, you usually end up coloring it with your own experiences."

Ferry hasn't played in the United States in years, but recently, he's been touring often. Ferry said, "For a long time I preferred working in the studio; but in the last few years, I have begun to enjoy live performance much more, possibly because I am playing piano again on certain songs."

Ferry has recently toured all over the world, including eastern Europe and Australia.

"Exotic locations can be a lot of fun to play, but sometimes rather difficult, logistically. We have played Kazakhstan and in November we will play a show in Azerbaijan," he said, adding that it's "rather like being in the Navy."

Ferry's 13th solo album, 2010's "Olympia," will be the focus of Tuesday's show. The cover features a photograph of model Kate Moss, taken by Ferry himself, who studied art in college before becoming a musician.

"We created an illustrated lyric book to accompany the record, which features these images," he said. "We also are staging exhibitions of all our visual work in various countries. The next one is in Los Angeles."

His visuals will be featured in his upcoming performance. He said that this tour "is perhaps the best visual show we have ever done."

Ferry's become a personality outside of the music business, too. He was notably parodied on the British cult comedy "The Mighty Boosh," which parodied the musician as a tuxedo-wearing jungle-dweller with tribal make-up. Ferry enjoyed the portrayal, saying, "I think it's hilarious. I have met ['Boosh' creator and actor] Noel Fielding, and he is extremely articulate and highly amusing."

Ferry himself also appeared in the Neil Jordan film "Breakfast on Pluto," as Mr. Silky String. Ferry said of the role, "It's always a useful experience to step outside of one's comfort zone, and I was very flattered to be asked by Neil Jordan."

Although best known for pop, Ferry has interesting ideas for potential future projects, saying, "I suppose one day I shall feel the urge to write a book, perhaps write a film score, and maybe even a musical."

Ferry is well known for his covers. In 2007, he released an album composed entirely of Bob Dylan covers, and usually includes a few covers in his solo records.

"It is hard to say what brings me to a song, but of course the lyric is very important," he said about his covers, adding, "When I was a teenage music fan, I loved jazz, and a lot of great artists I listened to did covers of standards as a matter of course."

In his spare time, Ferry enjoys nature, saying, "When I am not on the road, I like going to my place in the country, and spending time with my dogs and my trees." This passion has led to many of Ferry's charity endeavors.

"One of the causes I have tried to help is the protection of rural England [Ferry's home country], since the countryside there, like most other places, is always under threat from urban development."

Ferry continued, "Next year we are planning an album to help another cause which I feel is incredibly important – the protection of the oceans of the world." This love of nature contrasts the sounds of his music, whose musical sensibility feels more akin to a sexy, glamorous cityscape.

"I always find something to like in each musical genre. However, I do tend to listen more to music from the past, which has withstood the test of time."

Ferry's musical legacy remains to be seen, but 40 years in, he still makes some of the coolest sounds in the business.

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