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2 August 1969


Pop LP of the month

JETHRO TULL: 'Stand Up Baby' [sic]. A New Day, Yesterday, Jeffrey Goes To Leicester Square, Bouree, Back To The Family, Look Into The Sun, Nothing Is Easy, Fat Man, We Used To Know, Reasons For Waiting, For A Thousand Mothers. (Island ILPS 9103).

Jethro Tull is not just a flute player. While the scarecrow figure of Ian Anderson hitching up his leg on telly or at your local blues festival, is the focal point an album reveals a cohesive unit at work. Glen [sic] Cornick on bass, Martin Barre on guitar and Clive Bunker on drums all make a heavy contribution to the sound of Jethro, one of the most distinctive on the group scene.

Recently, in the MM, respected jazz writer Leonard Feather referred to Anderson offering "a second rate imitation of Roland Kirk". Feather was understandably in a poor temper at the wrecking of the Newport Jazz Festival by the local louts.

Because Anderson plays flute and frequently adopts the breathy effect Roland features, he is thus dismissed. But there aren't that many flute players around, and comparing him to Tubby Hayes or Frank Wess would be just as unfair and pointless. Ian has technique and a feeling. His style is probably derivative but that isn't so unusual even in the highest echelons of jazz.

Ian has written all the songs which are extremely varied in mood and treatment. 'A New Day Yesterday' is three four jazz, 'Bounce' [sic] has classical overtones and 'Fat Man' has the air of a lunatic country folk dance.

He has a blunt, unpretentious vocal style. He is not a genius. But he has a genius for utilising his skills and talents in a manner that is entertaining and valid.

This is sturdy music, occasionally a little rough. Sometimes the rhythm section doesn't swing as much as it should, but Jethro are standing up — and saying something.