Ian Anderson — Homo Erraticus
(Kscope 291, 2014, CD+DVD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-08-15At this point in history, the difference between and Ian Anderson album and a Jethro Tull album is more or less irrelevant. All those years when fans ridiculed the uninformed for calling that crazy-eyed flute-player "Jethro" seem pretty distant; only the absence of Martin Barre separates Homo Erraticus from really being a Tull album, and even Barre wasn't on every single release using the Tull name. Anyway, 2014 sees Mr Anderson again "collaborating" with Gerald Bostock, the fictional poet responsible for the lyrics to Thick as a Brick. This time out, Bostock takes as his subject the entirety of the history of the British Isles, from prehistoric times into the future. Unlike the original TaaB with its two side-long tracks, this album is divided into individual tracks, 15 of them, ranging from under a minute to over seven in length. But the entire album does function as a whole, and there are recurring themes holding it together. Somehow Anderson has managed the trick of writing music that hearkens back to the classic mid-70s Tull sound without sounding dated. His acoustic guitar and flute figure prominently in many tracks, as do the electric guitar of Florian Opahle and the keyboards of John O'Hara, both of whom would have fit seamlessly in the Tull of decades past. Opahle's guitar is maybe not as inventive as Barre's, but he acquits himself admirably, and contributes some great playing both as accompaniment and in a lead role. All in all, I can see no reason why a fan of Jethro Tull would dislike Homo Erraticus, and it sounds fresh enough that novices could well enjoy it and find it an entré into the band's massive oeuvre — even though this isn't really a Jethro Tull album. Call it what you like, it's excellent stuff.
Related artist(s): Ian Anderson
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more