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Jethro Tull - Live at AVO Session Basel 2008 CD (album) cover


Jethro Tull

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5 stars A captivating, laid back Jethro Tull performance which was recorded in November 2008 as part of the AVO indoor music festival in Basel, Switzerland.

The superior Swiss audio-visual production here allows the viewer to overlook frontman Ian Anderson's somewhat strained voice at times which is more than compensated for by the band as a whole being in top musical form, particularily Anderson's flute playing which reminds me of how he sounded on the 1995 Roots To Branches studio album. Martin Barre's lucent electric guitar lines are perfectly balanced against Anderson's succinct acoustic rhythm playing with plenty of opportunity for soloing. The long established chemistry between Barre and anderson are very much in evidence in this intimate setting. This has to be the best sounding Jethro Tull DVD ever with the rather subdued audience response being confined to song breaks, although they actually rise to their feet for the Locomotive Breath finale. Anderson introduces each track with his usual dry wit and demure alluding to the age of the band when introducing Too Old To Rock 'n ' Roll, Too Young To Die comparing himself to Mick Jagger as if to say, if the Stones are still doing it then Jethro Tull can still do it. Appropriately there are nods to the past with renditions of older tracks that date back to the This Was days, most notably a rare rendition of Dharma For One complete with Doane Perry drum solo! Anderson also ocasionally throws in some reminders of his earlier stage theatrics assuming the one-legged stance and prancing the stage during flute solos. A suprise here is a track taken from the 1991 Catfish Rising album, Rocks On The Road.

An alluring Jethro Tull performance that echoes the tone of the A Little Light Music tour in terms of intimacy and serves as a testimony of a very mature band nodding back to an illustrious past without the pressure of a new album to promote. Whether playing an obscure early blues track ( So Much Trouble ) or indulging in the exceess of a progrock classic ( Thick As A Brick ) Jethro Tull demonstrates the timeless appeal their music holds for audiences in a modern age.

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Posted Thursday, December 3, 2009 | Review Permalink

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