The Jester

Thick as a Brick

Since the early ’70s,  Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) was a virtuoso of chord changes, major to minor, order and anarchy, unorthodox progressions, sudden rhythm changes, master of the concept album. A dancing, prancing, wild-eyed imp leaping across the stage in his harlequin clothes, red hair ablaze, brandishing his flute like a mad maestro. Rhythms darting among the phrases, 2/4, 6/8; 9/8 and maybe 13’s.  From pianissimo to forte in a flash. The master jester. The magician of the genre.   God, he was good and continues to this day. You may surmise that I’ve resurrected Thick As A Brick, Aqualung and Tales From The Woods. YouTube has many mesmerizing live performances from the early ’70s. That’s my kind of music; prog rock, The Moodies, Zepp, Floyd, Genesis, Haywood & Lodge, Rush. And of course, Tull. Intoxicating times in more ways than one.  The music went way beyond the old 8 to the bar, 4 to the phrase and 16 to the verse. No 3 minute limit for the AM time slot, no pleading “Be My Baby” or moaning “Leader Of The Pack”. This was music that really tried to say something, lyrics that spoke, melodies that soared. Music for the mind.  Poetry for the soul.

Some memories fade, while others?  All it takes is that opening guitar chord, or 3, maybe 4 beats of the percussion intro. You can dive into the spirit of it, know all the lyrics, anticipate the crashing finale or quiet fade-out.  It’s food for the soul, sustenance for the spirit. You could say that I have a mild passion for Jethro Tull. You would only be partly right.

Ian Anderson  Jethro Tull

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