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Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull (Live)

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Album Review

This wonderful DVD is the same 95-minute-or-so concert from Jethro Tull's lead vocalist/songwriter and the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt that you'll find on the double-CD audio counterpart, 20 songs beginning with the five-piece band and expanding from there. The visuals are lovely — shots from above, fade ins, split screen, black-and-white footage superimposed on color — which makes the viewing quite appealing. Quirkier material like "Up the Pool" from the Living in the Past album sounds sophisticated in this ta-ta setting with the aging and respectful audience politely applauding. Ian Anderson's fans are now as old as the Aqualung figure he has projected for the past four decades or so, and it's fascinating psychology to hear the music of their youth presented in such old-world ambiance. Ian is quite chatty on the disc, talking up the intro to his reinvention of "We Three Kings," now titled "We Five Kings" for the rock/folk quintet employed on this gig. Ian Anderson (pretty much) unplugged succeeds on many levels, and the music of Jethro Tull works wonderfully in this dress. The orchestral version of "Aqualung" is dramatic and sonically exciting, as one would expect. The exotic movements of so many musicians complement the tone of Anderson's voice and the authority with which he tells his many tales. Bonuses include a seven-minute interview with legendary German concert promoter Fritz Rau (interpreted by a translator), nine minutes of interviews with some of the contributors, and even a bit of footage from the mastering of these recordings. Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull superbly captures all the magic of the event and offers unique insight into the creative mind of Tull's driving force.


Born: 10 August 1947 in Dunfermline, Scotland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The leader of Jethro Tull occasionally records a solo album that departs significantly from the output of his group (although it can be argued that every Tull album since the mid-'70s has, in effect, been an Anderson solo project supported by whatever musicians he chooses to call "Jethro Tull"). His solo material tends...
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