September 28, 2006

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‘The Whistler’ on flute
Jethro Tull’s music gets the orchestra treatment
By Erica Febre efebre@hippopress.com

The sounds of Jethro Tull are created by an live orchestra in The Orchestral Jethro Tull, which comes to the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord to perform with Ian Anderson on Thursday, Sept. 28.

“I’ve hand-picked a group of musicians from the New England Conservatory in Boston who are joining me as chamber orchestra along with my other musicians. There will be about 20 of us on stage making music, predominantly classic Jethro Tull but also some music written by classical composers but done up in a jazzy or folky kind of way, as well as some church music and some other compositions too,” said Anderson via telephone from his home in England.

Ian Anderson is known throughout the world of rock music as the founding member and flute and voice behind the legendary rock band Jethro Tull, formed in 1968. Jethro Tull has released 30 albums, selling more than 60 million copies since the band first performed at London’s famous Marquee club. Anderson is widely recognized as the man who introduced the flute to rock music.

Anderson has recorded five diverse solo albums in his career: Walk Into Light (1983); the flute instrumental album, Divinities (1995), which reached number one on the Billboard chart; and the more recent acoustic collection, The Secret Language of Birds (2000); Rupi’s Dance (2003) and a collaboration with Germany’s Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt Orchestra, “The Ian Anderson Orchestral Album” (2005).

“Music is always serving a very deep purpose of bringing people together in some common and shared celebratory kind of way. I’m playing to all kinds of people in different cultures, creeds, belief systems, different color of skin. That is something I feel very proud of doing as a musician, being able cross the boundaries that politicians and our national leaders find so difficult to do,” Anderson said.

Coming from Spain to New Hampshire, after a quick stop home to repack his travel bag, Anderson will begin touring the United States starting with the show in New Hampshire. Anderson is proud to be working beside a young violinist, Anne Marie Calhoun, who has played with Old School Freight Train and Dave Matthews. Calhoun just performed with Anderson at their first show a few weeks ago in Israel.

“I’ve had to learn, actually, some very difficult material. If you’re a bluegrass fiddler, you have some pretty quick fingers. Trying to keep up with Anne Marie on her speedy, very dexterous musical excursions is something that has forced me to learn some technique and apply myself more. I think it’s good for people at my age to have a challenge and if you’re getting that challenge thrown down by a 26-year-old young lady, then, boy, you better rise to the occasion, no pun intended,” said Anderson.

Over the part few years, Anderson had been working on getting the rest of the Jethro Tull collection available to the public in a remastered version. Although he understands the nostalgia that people hold for the original records, Anderson thinks that fans will love having this available as well. Remastering of the Jethro Tull collections is being done on Abbey Road, the recording home of the Beatles.

“We’re going to have our music sounding pristine and great. It is a great opportunity to have things sounding like they did back then in the studio, not the way they sounded when they were scratched into a piece of plastic and available as vinyl records. Quite frankly the recording quality was usually pretty crappy,” Anderson said.


Flute!
Ian Anderson will perform at the Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord, on Thursday, Sept. 28. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, go to www.ccanh.com. For more information on Jethro Tull visit the Web site at jethrotull.com.