Flautist reviewing Jethro Tull

Wasn’t sure whether this fitted here or in the Music Room thread.

I found this on You Tube and enjoyed the ‘technical’ attention this flautist gave to Ian Anderson’s technique.



You should have posted in the Jokes thread. Watched 5 minutes. All i hear is “oh, man!” She does a lot of covers.!?!.. She’s freaking irritating. 5 minutes of my life I can’t get back!

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It’s an interesting piece. Ian Anderson’s self indulgent playing is probably best left in the dustbin of prog history.



That solo embodies everything that was wrong with early 70s music. Unutterably dreadful.

Oh, Nigel! You know what. I can’t be arsed to be having an argument with you.


I agree with her - his flute playing is great. I would much rather listen to him than James Galway. Very original.


His playing was actually quite good - particularly later when he learned more about playing the flute. The music, of course, may not be to your taste, but many enjoyed it, which is - after all - what is important.


I read that he was completely self-taught and it was only when his daughter was learning the flute that he found out his technique was all wrong. Somewhere around 1991 he forced himself to re-learn which included his ‘fingering’; one of the issues giving the flautist matter for concern when she was reviewing his style.

That must have been very difficult.

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Yes, I read that too. One of the videos I saw of a professional flautist watching Ian Anderson play was very interesting. She analysed his playing rather than simply reacting to it. She pointed out his poor technique (for instance, he didn’t use the little finger on his right hand when he should have done), but overall she was very impressed by what he was doing.

I think he originally took it up after seeing some of his guitar peers and realised he was never going to be great on the guitar…nobody else at that time was playing flute in a rock band, so he had the stage to himself.

Apart from Ray Thomas of course.

I, for one have enjoyed listening over the years to Ray Thomas, Ian Anderson and Thijs Van Leer - all excellent flute players in their own right.

And by the way - Prog Rock and the early 70s rule - OK! :innocent:


Yes of course ray thomas…loved his voice

Other notable flautists from “the golden age of (prog) rock” are:

Chris Wood - Traffic
Ian McDonald - King Crimson
Mel Collins - King Crimson
Peter Gabriel - Genesis
Florian Schneider - Kraftwerk
Andrew Latimer - Camel
David Jackson - Van Der Graf Generator
Nik Turner - Hawkwind
Dave Winthrop - Supertramp


Of course andrew latimer, forgot him as well…getting old

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Same here!

Actually, I haven’t listened to much Prog Rock at all for quite some time, but inspired by this thread it’s time to revisit my youth and change that over the next few days.


yep, it’s a consequence of living through those times. but as the old adage goes, “If you can remember the sixties, then you weren’t really there, man!”

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Saw Ian Anderson play with Fairport Convention live in Birmingham 16 odd years ago. He was a lively and engaging performer. A benefit concert for Dave Swarbrick. I don’t trouble about his technique. There are many subtle flute players in both Irish traditions, but they don’t dance in front of an electric band. There’s footage of Anderson with Fairport on You Tube.

I saw Jethro Tull about two years ago.

Ian Anderson’s flute playing was as I remembered it… including the standing on one leg which I was impressed by given his age (70 at the time).

His voice (or the microphone?) wasn’t what I’d hoped for though.

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I last saw Jethro Tull back in the mid 80s at a small venue in central Scotland. They were on fine form.

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