In the last few years Bryan Ferry has busied himself with jazz instrumentals and “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack. He returns with his first album of new material in four years and his husky velvet croon is in fine shape.
“Avonmore” is all lush layers and quiet urgency with songs of love won and lost, offering a mesmerizing combination of sophistication, melancholy, and danceability.
Ferry invited some famous friends into the studio to lend a hand including Nile Rodgers, Mark Knopfler, Ronnie Spector, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marcus Miller, and Johnny Marr — who also co-wrote the ambling acoustic-anchored gem “Soldier of Fortune.”
It sounds like a festive time was had by all as the album swirls and pulsates on eight new Ferry originals and two covers, a moody take of Robert Palmer’s “Johnny & Mary” and a dramatic rendering of Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns.”
That last track, a haze of strings, synths, snappy beats, and world weary rasps, seems an apt choice for the effortlessly cool former Roxy Music frontman, long a master of a little night music. (Out now)