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Anderson, Ian: Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull (DVD)

This is a great companion DVD to the Ian Anderson Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull CD that has also been released. Joined by the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt Orchestra, Ian and his solo band run through many Tull and Anderson hits, and when joined by the orchestra the sound is magic. If you have the 2 CD set, then you have basically everything here, as it is the same show and the set list is the same. As always, Ian Anderson is a great showman, and while he may not race around the stage like he did 20 or 30 years ago, he still brings what would be a fairly calm orchestral evening to greater heights thanks to his energetic stage presence and witty commentary. I loved the version of the Aqualung classic "Mother Goose" , complete with bassoon, oboe, and accordion, as it gave a wonderful flavor to the piece. What's great here though is after the wonderful "Bouree", when Ian announces that the band is taking a 20 minute break, we then get treated to a 48 minute interview with Ian in the studio where he talks about his decision to record these classic songs with the orchestra and other musicians. Hearing his thoughts on how much of a perfectionist he has been over the years yet admitting that he makes numerous mistakes on stage every night I thought was great to include, as are his comments about the limitations of his voice and his decision to concentrate on the flute in the early years. He brings up the opnion that Peter Gabriel stopped playing flute in Genesis so he wouldn't be compared to himself, which was funny to hear, and may be true. This is Ian Anderson being very personal for the camera and long time fans will love this part of the DVD.

Of the orchestral tracks, there's a ton of highlights, namely "Budapest", "Living in the Past", "Life is a Long Song", "My God", and "Locomotive Breath", and the holiday pieces "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "We Five Kings" are especially timely. This is highly recommended stuff for all Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull enthusiasts, and one of the better "rock meets orchestra" projects available.

Song Listing
1. Eurology
2. Calliandra Shade
3. Skating Away On The Thin Ice Of The New Day
4. Up The Pool
5. We Five Kings
6. Life Is A long Song
7. In The Grip Of Stronger Stuff
8. Wond'ring Aloud
9. Griminelli's Lament
10. Cheap Day Return
11. Mother Goose
12. Bouree
13. Boris Dancing
14. Living In The Past
15. Pavane
16. Aqualung
17. God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen
18. My God
19. Budapest
20. Locomotive Breath
21. Interview with Ian Anderson
22. Interview with Fritz Rau
23. Interview with participants

Added: December 21st 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Jethro Tull Website
Hits: 2683
Language: english

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Anderson, Ian: Plays the Orchestral Jethro Tull (DVD)
Posted by Keith Hannaleck, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-12-21 07:01:53
My Score:

Ian Anderson Plays The Orchestral Jethro Tull with the Neue Philharmonic Frankfurt conducted by John O' Hara is real treat if you are a fan of classical music meets rock and of Jethro Tull and Anderson's solo work. For me it all applies, I look at experiences like this as something new and different to enjoy. It is nothing new obviously; it's just a real turn of the tables watching Ian on stage with a full orchestra doing all the familiar JT tracks with an entirely different twist.

I saw Jethro Tull a few years ago play with an orchestra live and it was a disappointment; however, I enjoyed this much more. I think the orchestra was much better and Ian outside the realm of familiarity (with band members) was like a bird taking flight, taking old standards and breathing the air of new life into them by venturing down unknown paths.

Ian is the first to admit he cannot sing and his voice has not weathered all that well, even so, the presentation he makes is still excellent, and he remains one of the premiere flute players in the world.

He interestingly enough starts off the concert with a rousing version of "Eurology" from his solo album Rupi's Dance (2003), even though the title indicates that its Jethro Tull music. As it turns out, it was a great way to start the proceedings. I loved the song live and cannot seem to get it out of my head when I hear it. "Aqualung" was the most enjoyable track by far though. Anderson mentions before the song starts, without announcing the title, that many folks do not recognize the song until its well into the first few minutes, I caught on about 30 seconds into it, what can I say? I am total JT freak. It is a marvelous interpretation of the song and five times better than the one I saw live, once again due to the adventurous reorganization of the composition and the top notch orchestra complementing Ian's flute became a key factor in making this version such a great success. "Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day" and "Locomotive Breath" were highlights from my viewpoint as well. Florian Opahle is not Martin Barre but the youngster does an exceptional job on both acoustic and electric guitar. The DVD tracks are sequenced in the same order as the double CD with the exception of some interviews with Ian that are very revealing and interesting, and the in between song conversations are cut out of the CD version.

In the end when I was through watching and listening, I felt that I could not have enjoyed the entire show more. I wish that I could have been there to see it myself, although good DVDs do give you one of the best seats in the house. I swore after the first experience that it would be the last; this restored my faith and reopened my mind to the possibilities of exploring a live event like this again if it ever comes to town, on that rare evening in the middle of the summer.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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