Don't despair entirely if the Roxy Music reunion skipped over your town in the summer of 2001. There's always this DVD to watch, featuring a wildly enjoyable and often unexpected concert performance by Roxy frontman and prolific solo artist Bryan Ferry. The setting is Paris in the spring of 2000, starring Ferry and about a dozen musicians mixing the avant-garde, Tin Pan Alley, and a delirious pop mélange for the kind of passionate European audience that during the early '70s gave Roxy Music its first commercial and critical boost outside the U.K. Backed by brass, piano, percussion, the occasional guitar, and a string section comprised of beautiful Muses (you must see it to understand...), Ferry glides through a handful of Rodgers & Hart, Cole Porter, and Kern & Fields standards, then hits the ground running on a slate of his own classic compositions from the last three decades: "Chance Meeting," "The Only Face," and "Avalon," among others.
Not the strongest of singers, Ferry is often drowned out by the sheer stamina of his backup band. But it's impossible, still, not to be transported by the stylish earnestness and whiff of decadence in his soaring vocals. Highlights include Roxy's rather wonderful cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy," and the essential disco anthem "Love Is the Drug." Modest DVD supplements include a discography and a cute feature that identifies the musicians by face. --Tom Keogh