Well aware of his ensemble’s legacy, the oeuvre spanning more than five decades, and never averse to playing the gems that are strewn across the long array of his albums, Ian Anderson is nevertheless loathe living in the past. Quite the opposite. In this time of cholera, when lesser collectives seem to wind down their innovative ways and head for safer waters, the Scottish veteran delivers a new record – uncompromisingly and even defiantly entitled “The Zealot Gene”– which is not only almost as strong as the best song cycles he’s ever written but also, unlike the musician’s works of the last ten years, is credited to JETHRO TULL, thus breaking up his solo patch. The paradigm shift alone would be enough to emphasize the platter’s importance, yet what’s more impressive is its profoundness on many a level: quite a reason to speak to Ian again – as our previous documented chat took place when Anderson’s latest personal path had just started – and we got rather deep into the spirit of things, to an extent that our conversation stretched twice the allotted time.
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