News Update: August 2005

Just back from a quiet week in Switzerland where we visited a cheese factory, drove around the Alps to many a quintessentially Swiss village for raclette, fondue, rosti and – you guessed it – a veggie curry, courtesy of the Kashmir Restaurant in Glion, near Montreux.

Now, back to the office desk, heaving with unresolved paperwork and a computer filled with the usual e-mails from the far sides of the world.

Definitive news of the IAN ANDERSON PLAYS THE ORCHESTRAL JETHRO TULL DVD and CD to be released in the USA October 4th.  This was recorded in December 2004 in Mannheim, Germany with the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt Orchestra and features solo, Classical and Tull material from me and the “Rubbing Elbows” band.  It will be released in other countries around the same time although it winged its way to number three in the German charts in late June where it was released early to coincide with the German Tull tour.

Also, there is soon to be the JETHRO TULL AQUALUNG LIVE CD – firstly given away as a freebie to ticket holders on almost all of our US tour dates in this coming October and November and to be released commercially as a limited edition in Europe this September and the USA in March next year, with all artist proceeds going to selected charities for the homeless. Yes, a little payback to Aqualung and his pals.

This album was recorded in November 2004 in Washington at the studios of XM Radio and remixed by me a couple of months ago. See the official liner notes below:

XM Radio’s “Then Again Live” is an original XM concept with the intention of re-creating the most important albums of all time.  Offering total creative freedom for artists to re-visit their milestone recordings, the idea isn’t to rival the original, but to re-experience it.

Session recording engineer:   Quinton Roebuck

Remix engineer:    Ian Anderson

Mastering by Uli Friedel at Church-Mastering, Streitberg, Germany

XM Radio Chief Programming Officer:     Lee Abrams

Hosted by George Taylor Morris and Dan Turner

Co-ordinated by Jayme Karp, Allen Goldberg and Chris Bonavia

Performed before a specially invited audience in the XM Performance

Theater, Washington

Visit XM Satellite Radio Inc. at www.xmradio.com

Visit Jethro Tull at www.jethrotull.com

Visit your mother on Sunday.

When veteran of Rock Radio programming, Lee Abrams, contacted me regarding having Tull take part in an XM Radio series of re-recordings of classic Rock albums, my natural inclination was to politely humour the fine gent but think of a good excuse to be doing something more urgent that day – like polishing my hair….

But the notion of re-recording the Aqualung album began to exert its charm, especially since some of the songs had never been performed since the days when they were recorded back in January 1971.  And, of course, the current band line-up apart from Martin and me, were babes-in-arms; or even more embryonic in the case of bassist, Jon Noyce, when the original was made.  And to do this in front of a small invited audience of fans picked from the replies to our web-site invitation gave an added impetus.

Having  finished up a US tour in Pennsylvania in November 2004 we journeyed down to Washington to the high-tech XM Radio complex in a, well, interesting part of town. A quick sound check in the performance studio was effected before ushering in the audience of some 40-odd folks who were to be subjected to an hour of very familiar  but close-up-in-your-face music, performed straight through with just two retakes – one when Martin had a technical glitch with a guitar lead in Slipstream and another when Andrew Giddings mysteriously stumbled over the piano intro to Locomotive Breath, which he must have played more than a thousand times by then. Probably had something to do with the proximity of the audience, the strength of the XM coffee and the horrible realization that he wasn’t getting paid for the job………..

Doane Perry was bashing the bongos in a specially soundproofed drum booth but with the doors left partly open so we could hear him playing acoustically and see him, more or less, through the gap. The rest of us played through a small PA system to feed some semblance of audio balance to the assembled family gathering. Like being in your living room, really, but with the record player cranked up to 11.

I remixed the session at my studio without any special effects – just capturing the essentially live and unadulterated immediacy of our little gig and leaving out most of the between-song chats (which would annoy you greatly after the first listening – trust me) but including such said patter, banter and bunkum together with interview comments as “bonus tracks” in their own right after the music programme IDs on the CD, so you won’t feel robbed entirely.

To put this recording on general release as a full-price, money-grabbing “new” album would hardly be appropriate.  So in addition to the complimentary offer to concert ticket-holders during our US tours in Fall, 2005, it is now available on special limited edition release with all Artist and Publishing royalties going to the charities for the homeless.

Ian Anderson,

2005

The songs                              Patter, banter and bunkum

 

1          AQUALUNG                          12        Riffs – another monkey

2          CROSSEYED MARY           13        Recording the original

3          CHEAP DAY RETURN        14        Choosing my words with care

4          MOTHER GOOSE               15        Hummmmmm 43

5          WOND’RING ALOUD         16        A different kettle of very    

6          UP TO ME                                         different fish                        

7          MY GOD                               17        But is it any good?

8          HYMN 43

9          SLIPSTREAM

10        LOCOMOTIVE BREATH

11        WIND-UP

  

IAN ANDERSON: Flute, vocals, acoustic guitar

MARTIN BARRE: Electric guitar

DOANE PERRY: Drums and percussion

ANDREW GIDDINGS: Piano, Organ and keyboards

JONATHAN NOYCE: Bass guitar

  

All music and lyrics written by Ian Anderson except “Aqualung”  lyrics by Ian Anderson and Jennie Franks

Published under license by Chrysalis Music Ltd.

Copyright, The Ian Anderson Group Of Companies Ltd. 2005

Give you the general idea?

The European dates this Summer were varied and interesting. Keeping up with the setlist changes necessary to provide each audience with something different to the last time in their city is always testing, but going out on any one tour with 50 songs, or so, readily playable after a quick run-through at soundcheck seems to take care of the need to have 20 actually played on the night. Add to that another 100-ish to be considered from time to time and that only leaves about 100 NEVER TO BE PLAYED LIVE!  But then I said that about Hymn 43 until last November and Living In The Past up until 1985…..

But please don’t ask me to play A Passion Play.  Not that bloody saxophone again.

US tours and special guest Lucia

Lucia Micarelli is the only violinist I have heard who plays in tune, in time and needs her feet washing on a regular basis. (Because she insists on going onstage barefoot – yes, where roadies have walked minutes before right after visiting the lavvy-loo – and we know men don’t aim too straight in their mature years.  But did they ever?)

Lucia came to my attention when her agent and ours, the William Morris Agency, contacted me to suggest her as a special participating guest on the Fall tours. I had really been looking for a singer/songwriter type who could play on a few of our tunes as well as having us accompany said guest on some of his/her own tunes.

But I agreed to listen to her excellent debut CD entitled “Music From A Farther Room”, watch her appearance on the Josh Groban Live DVD and finally to journey up to London to watch her perform with one of the UK’s best-known Granny Award (sic) artists, Michael Ball.

Lucia is a bubbly 21 (according to my maths) but since the gals usually lie about their ages, she may, in fact be 18, or 38 but definitely not my recently acquired 58 years of age. Trained at Juilliard College in NY and then the Manhattan School Of  Music, Loosh – as she seems to be known – has been soundly schooled in the world of Classical repertoire, since the age of three. I didn’t pick up the flute until I was 20, so I guess she got a head start on the thing and now has the maturity of tone, expression and – most importantly – intonation you would associate with someone of far more advanced years.

Add to that her ability to improvise and develop her music into crossover areas of Rock and Folk-oriented influenced excellence and you get someone who has both the licks and the passion to bring her love of The Who, Zeppelin, Queen and other greats of the Classic Rock era into a new context of inspired violin music.

Lucia will join Tull on stage during our show and we will play some of her stuff as well as hear her play some of ours. She is NOT the opening act per se.  I will walk on stage at the appointed time stated on your ticket, so don’t even think of showing up 30 minutes late as you will miss 30 minutes of Jethro Tull.  Unless, of course, you are already a big Lucia fan in which case this might be the right idea.

Check out Lucia at www.luciamicarelli.com

Don’t go to this site and send her naughty e-mails – I already tried that. She doesn’t read them. Well, not the naughty ones, anyway.

We are off tomorrow to Mexico City to start our Latin American tour, taking in several countries and cities where we have never played before, so that will be a treat. Then back to the UK for me to judge a pet show, grab a rehearsal day to learn and arrange music for my solo appearance in Vienna next January to celebrate the 250 anniversary of Mozart’s birth.

I will play (hopefully) a few bits and bobs of Mozart turned into a jazz-styling showing that, in spite of the protests of the purists whose howls of derision and outrage I can almost already hear, that a good tune is a good tune, regardless of context.  I, for one, would always much rather hear someone doing a version of one of my pieces turn it into to something quite different and make it their own, rather than doing a clone “cover job”.  I feel complimented on such occasion but am hardly impressed by the attempt to more or less copy the original, and probably, dare I suggest, do it not as well me.

I.A.

August 2005