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Jethro Tull - Minstrel in the Gallery CD (album) cover

MINSTREL IN THE GALLERY

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.05 | 1415 ratings

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Hector Enrique
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After the singular experience of "War Child", Jethro Tull returns to their acoustic orientation and adds substantial rock nuances in one of their most outstanding albums, "Minstrel in the Gallery", the eighth of their discography. From the descriptive cover art inspired by a work by the 19th century English painter Joseph Nash, setting the scene in a hall full of characters and animals in a delirious and bizarre image, the album travels through medieval settings of castles and troubadours, combined with Ian Anderson's experiential reflections.

Right from the start, the forceful "Minstrel in the Gallery" marks in Anderson's initial chords the path that the album will follow, confirmed by the beautiful melancholy of "Requiem" and the delicacy of "One White Duck / 0^10 = Nothing at All", both acoustic pieces enriched by the sensitive arrangements of a quartet of violins and cello skilfully conducted by David Palmer. Also on the extensive and heterogeneous suite "Baker St. Muse", the most progressive piece on the album, structuring its sections from Anderson's guitars as on "Pig-Me and the Whore", on the long-suffering "Crash- Barrier Waltzer", and on the complex and acidic "Mother England Reverie", accompanied by his flutes and the keyboards of an assertive John Evan.

But although the album is dominated by the folk contributions of its leader, it also features a more protagonist Martin Barre. Relegated to a secondary role in the predecessors "A Passion Play" and "War Child", Barre assumes a more active role with his riffs and solos in several passages of the work, as in the initially mentioned "Minstrel in the Gallery", whose last two thirds are largely sustained by the guitarist, in the extravagant journey through Norse mythology of "Cold Wind to Valhalla" and fundamentally in the second part of the anxious "Black Satin Dancer", under the solid percussion base of Barriemore Barlow, adding a greater sonic forcefulness to the album.

The frugal "Grace" closes the album delicately, and with it also ends bassist Jeffrey Hammond's time in the band, to devote himself to painting, his true passion.

Without a doubt, "Minstrel in the Gallery" is a great work, and part of Jethro Tull's essential discography.

4/4,5 stars

Hector Enrique | 4/5 |

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