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Jethro Tull: The String Quartets

Though I'm not quite sure why this is called a Jethro Tull album, there's no denying how cool it is to hear many of these Tull gems reimagined as pure classical flights. Featuring The Carducci Quartet, The String Quartets looks at a handful of favorites from Jethro Tull over the years, arranged by John O'Hara (Tull's most recent keyboard player) with help from Ian Anderson. Of course, Anderson also contributes flute and acoustic guitar, as well as vocals on a few pieces, but it's the violins & cello that are the stars of the show here, lending a majestic flair to "Sossity Waiting", "In the Past", "Songs and Horses", and "Aquafugue", all instantly recognizable despite their slightly different titles. "Farm, the Fourway" is just lovely, the violins & flute soaring to the heavens while the cello takes the part of the keyboards & guitar from the original recording of "Farm on the Freeway". Though Anderson's vocals sound quite frail in spots, his almost gentle whisper on " Only the Giving (Wond'ring Aloud)" drifts alongside acoustic guitar and gorgeous violin, and his charming delivery fits in perfectly on "Pass the Bottle (A Christmas Song)".

Despite the fact that this is a Jethro Tull album in name only, longtime fans are in for a treat to hear these classic songs reimagined with a new twist. Classical music and Jethro Tull turns out to be a marriage that works out quite well.


Track Listing
01. In the Past (Living In The Past)
02. Sossity Waiting (Sossity: You're a Woman / Reasons For Waiting)
03. Bungle (Bungle In The Jungle)
04. We Used to Bach (We Used to Know / Bach Prelude C Major)
05. Farm, the Fourway (Farm On The Freeway)
06. Songs and Horses (Songs From The Wood / Heavy Horses)
07. Only the Giving (Wond'ring Aloud)
08. Loco (Locomotive Breath)
09. Pass the Bottle (A Christmas Song)
10. Velvet Gold (Velvet Green)
11. Ring Out These Bells (Ring Out, Solstice Bells)
12. Aquafugue (Aqualung)

Added: October 14th 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 634
Language: english

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Jethro Tull: The String Quartets
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2017-10-14 17:39:12
My Score:

Here we have the latest from Ian Anderson/Jethro Tull titled The String Quartets. Ian Anderson and John O'Hara originally heard the Carducci Quartet at the London Symphony Orchestra St. Lukes in London. They were so impressed Anderson wanted them involved in the project, thus we have the new album.

There has been much talk around the web about Anderson's voice and cash grabs but I don't see it that way at all. Artists are creative and Anderson has always appreciated and enjoyed classical music so why not put his creative juices into such a project. Anderson and O'Hara had wanted to do a project like this for some time and as a music fan I am glad they pulled it off. The duo carefully chose the songs although you probably noticed the different song titles. This was apparently done to avoid royalty issues.

The disc opens with a reimagining of the classic "Living In the Past" titled "In the Past". It's an excellent rendition that works very well under the classical umbrella and Anderson's flute trills recall past glory. On "Sossity Waiting" the urgent and light and airy strings makes for a nice dichotomy and Anderson's vocals are actually very nice. Sure he doesn't have the voice of old but when he sings within his means he gets the job done, at least on this recording. "Bungle" is another excellent choice with the cello adding a deep rich texture as is "Farm, The Fourway" and its wonderful violin intro. "Songs And Horses", taken from the more folky Songs From The Wood and Heavy Horses
blends nicely with a classical bent as does "Only The Giving" featuring endearing vocals and acoustic strums from Anderson. Playful interaction between flute and strings highlights "Loco" before the disc ends with "Aquafugue", a song that could have used a bit more bite as it's just a tad tepid although still enjoyable as are Anderson's vocals.

The String Quartets is something different from Anderson but highly enjoyable nonetheless. If you are a fan of Tull and classical music this is an album I highly recommend.

The Carducci Quartet:


Mathew Denton (violin)
Michelle Fleming (violin)
Eoin Schmidt-Martin (viola)
Emma Denton (cello)



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