01 Jun JETHRO TULL- “ANDERSON SHARPENS HIS FLUTE PLAYING”

Jethro Tull- "Roots to Branches" Review.

MARTIN BARRE OF JETHRO TULL ELECTRIFIES THE AUDIENCE IN PULLMAN, WA ON 3/5/77. PHOTO BY BEN UPHAM.

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JETHRO TULL-
“ANDERSON SHARPENS HIS FLUTE PLAYING”
BY GERRY GALLPAULT
THE CHRONICLE TELEGRAM
ELYRIA, OHIO
NOVEMBER 17, 1995

Ian Anderson needs to improve his flute-playing like Kelsey Grammar needs to sharpen his comic wit. But the venerable leader of rock’s legendary Jethro Tull says that’s exactly what he felt he had to do a few years ago, right up to the recent release of the group’s 28th album, “Roots to Branches” (Chrysalis/EMI).
Still, it’s an odd thing to hear from a man whose musicianship is the hallmark of a group’s sound. “I got back into playing the flute seriously a couple years back when I decided I would really try to learn to play better,” Anderson said in a recent phone interview from his English home, “and that continued with the solo project earlier this year called ‘Divinities’ and through to the new Jethro Tull album.
“The two projects were quite intertwined. In fact, there are a couple of pieces from the Jethro Tull album that were actually outlined in a basic demo before I even started working on the ‘Divinities’ project, so if s all sort of contemporary, all part of that time of 12 months that staff was coming from the same musical sources and musical interests.”
In turn, that revitalized his flute-playing. “I quite enjoyed playing the flute on the Jethro Tull album, feeling that it was a much more integral part of the music than it usually is,” Anderson said. “I usually feel that I’m putting it in because people expect to hear it, and secondly, if s sort of a decorative function. It’s usually the last thing to go on the record. “On this album, a lot of the flute was music that was very fundamental to the way the music was written and arranged.”
The result — like it or not for some Tull fans — is one of the group’s most focused albums, brimming with songs of considerable depth. One track in particular, “Valley,” is a gentle but insistent passage about intolerance, leading one to believe it’s an anti-war song aimed at Bosnia. “I guess it is,” Anderson said, “but it also could be a song about Northern Ireland or about city streets or be anything where you have people intolerant of their neighbors and jealous and suspicious, feeling that they impede each other through their proximity in some way. “It’s a song about intolerance and trying to point out to people that we don’t always get along with our neighbors, but there’s so much unnecessary aggravation for a lack of willingness to understand and to sympathize and to respect. That’s probably the most important word of all: respect You should respect people who may have a different set of beliefs.”
“Roots to Branches” entered the British charts at a respectable No. 20. It premiered at No. 114 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. Anderson couldn’t be happier. “It’s not going to be a monster hit album,” he said, “and it’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but I think among Jethro Tull fans it has signs of being generally approved of and seen by people as one of our better rather than one of our worst yet.
“After 27 years, I’ll settle for that”

JETHRO TULL DISCOGRAPHY:
1968 This Was
1969 Stand Up
1970 Benefit
1971 Aqualung
1972 Thick as a Brick
1972 Living in the Past
1973 Passion Play
1974 War Child
1975 Minstril in the Gallery
1976 Too Old to Rock & Roll, Too Young to Die
1977 Songs from the Wood
1978 Heavy Horses
1978 Bursting Out Live
1979 Stormwatch
1980 A
1982 Broadsword and the Beast
1984 Under Wraps
1987 Crest of a Knave
1989 Rock Island
1991 Catfish Rising
1992 A Little Light Music
1993 Night Cap
1993 Box Set
1995 Roots to Branches
1999 J. Tull Dot Com
2003 Christmas Album
2004 Live at Isle of Wight 1970
2005 Aqualung Live 2005
2007 Live at Montreaux 2003
2009 Live at Madison Square Gardens (1978)

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