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Brushpilot 3rd July 2004 10:44 PM

Early Tull-- Anything similar?
Does anybody know of any bands past or present with a style and sound similar to early Jethro Tull? A tall order to fill, so far impossible to find anything at all like Ian Anderson's flute playing style.

SY 4th July 2004 12:22 AM

You hit a nerve here- I really liked the first three Tull albums, played in some bands that did covers, but lost interest in them rapidly after the marvelous "Benefit." Do you want to get to the roots of Anderson's flute playing? Then step outside of rock and dig up some Rahsaan Roland Kirk. That's where he got it all from, but Kirk was about a million times better on the instrument. Go listen to the flute solo on "Three for the Festival" if you want my point proved. I was a flute player, very serious about it, and pretty good. After the first time I saw Kirk live, I went home and threw up, I was so rattled by the intensity of his talent.

There was a group called Focus that did Tullish stuff, too, but I never warmed up to it.

SY 4th July 2004 12:28 AM

One more suggestion- but no flute. Blodwyn Pig, "Ahead Rings Out" and "Getting to This". A very similar sound to "This Was", and there's a reason for that.

andy_c 4th July 2004 12:34 AM

SY, I'm the same as you - loved the first three albums, hated the rest. I was so disgusted when "Aqualung" came out.

Ditto the Rahsaan recommendation too. And just as I was writing this, about to give a Blodwyn Pig recommendation, I refreshed my browser view, and there you already posted the same thing!

For jazz flute, Dolphy's "Far Cry" has two songs with unbelievable flute playing.

Ron E 4th July 2004 12:34 AM

Steeleye Span is a bit similar in a sense, but I've found little truly like Tull.

Another band that has played Tullish tracks is a local band named "Boiled in Lead", but a large part of their repertoire is unlistenable crap (annoying arrangements of medieval folk tunes) in my opinion....

SY 4th July 2004 01:35 AM

Andy, we must have been separated at birth! Another great Dolphy flute excursion is on "Live in Europe", a smokin' version of Hi Fly.

andy_c 4th July 2004 03:41 AM

Haven't heard that one. I will definitely check it out though.

Back to the Tull thing, I still remember the first time I heard the song We used to know, which is still one of my favorite rock 'n roll songs ever. It gave me goosebumps and made the hair on my arms stand up on end, like static electricity. I was listening to it on a portable RCA stereo with a plastic tonearm. This thing folded up like a suitcase. The turntable part had a little latch which you'd release, and it would swing down to the horizontal position. The speakers were on hinges, and you'd rotate them 90 degrees to face you when you were ready to play it :)

SY 4th July 2004 11:38 AM

I was lucky and saw Tull on their first swing through the US. They were the warm-up act for a double-bill of The Who and Zep. They opened with "My Sunday Feeling" and I thought, "That guy ain't a great flute player, but I've suddenly got an idea about how to get a bit more work with local bands..."

To the original question, one other possibility is some of the earlier Fairport Convention stuff, especially if you're trying to recreate Tull in their pseudo-balladeer-rut phase.

Brushpilot 4th July 2004 01:08 PM

And all this time I thought I was the only Tull fan that actually preferred their first couple albums over the rest of their work..... :D
This Was = one of my all time favorite albums. As for Andersen's playing abilities, I think his gritty, un-polished, improvisational style is exactly what makes it so appealing.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll check them out.

reverber 9th July 2004 05:39 PM

Theodossii Spassov
This Bulgarian is my current favorite flute player. His instrument of choice is the kaval, which is an end-blown shepherd's flute.
His style incorporates the odd time signatures and melodic structure of traditional Bulgarian music with western jazz traditions. He won a Grammy in 1994 as part of the "Mysterious Bulgarian Voices" recording.

He does some amazing things with his kaval.

I remember one quote that compared his Trio work to a jam session between Thelonius Monk and Ian Anderson.


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