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New Eddie Jobson release "Four Decades" with one Zappa track
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Galeans
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Post 2015-03-02 11:46   [Quote] 
Eddie Jobson has just released a boxset containing the audio and the video of the retrospective concert celebrating the 40th anniversary, recorded live in Kawasaki, Japan, 9th November 2013. The box can be ordered from here: http://wardrecords.com/SHOP/WRDZZ114_OS.html

Here, instead, you will find my personal review of it, in Italian. For those of you who don't rely on Google Translator, here's my personal attempt at translating it.

Quote:
To paraphrase Frank Zappa, Eddie Jobson is the best musician you have never heard in your life. Active between 1973 and 1985 and again since 2009, Eddie had a very intense carreer crammed in a small space: in less than 10 years he recorded with such names as Curved Air, Roxy Music, Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, King Crimson and even started a band (UK) with legends like John Wetton, Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth.

"Four Decades", as the title, suggest is a celebrative concert recorded in Kawasaki, Japan, 9th November 2013, in which Eddie performs music from throughout his carreer, joined by Alex Machacek on guitar, Ric Fierabbracci on bass and Marco Minneman on drums. Sonja Kristina from Curved Air, John Wetton and singer Aaron Lippert also appear as special guestes. The setlist is quite good, expecially the songs from his solo albums "The Green Album" and "Theme of Secrets", most of which were never performed on stage before, but could have been even better. For example, the total absence of anything from his period with Jethro Tull is quite baffling. His musical contributions on the "A" album are obvious and widely recognized, so songs like "Uniform", "Black Sunday" or "Protect and Survive" would have been perfect here. Similarly, Curved Air have been given too much attention; while the instrumental "Armin" is an excellent way to start the show and "Metamorphosis", the first long composition by Jobson, is sort of an inevitable choice, both "UHF", a good song not suitable for live performance, and "Elfin Boy", where the event seems to be turning into a Sonja Kristina solo show, overstay their welcome. Also, the inclusion of "It Happened Today" and "Young Mother" is quite inexplicable, as both songs were originally recorded before Jobson had joined the band. If that wasn't enough, Sonja is not in her top voice and the band, while skilled and professional, doesn't seem to be at ease with those songs. Next, there's one number each from his Roxy Music and Frank Zappa years: "Out of the Blue" and "Läther", which originally showcased Eddie's abilities with violin and keyboards, respectively. Both are solid performances. After this short but intense transition, we finally go in UK material, and John Wetton joins on stage. The line-up, at this point, is the same who appeared on the UK DVD "Reunion - Live in Tokio". The "In The Dead of Night" suite, "Rendezvous 6.02" and the epic "Carrying no Cross" are three of Jobson's finest moments and those live versions are quite great. Wetton's voice is quite different than what it used to be, but still, he is in good form and nonetheless showcases a quite strong and personal use of it, so he becomes an highlight of these versions.

Part two of the show consists in a serie of songs that show the transition towards UKZ, the band Eddie started in 2009. UK's "Alaska" introduces some songs from the 1983 Zinc "Green Album", in which Eddie Jobson himself originally starred the lead singer. Eddie doesn't sing off-key, but he hasn't got an adequate voice to fill the role of a lead singer. We guess he is aware of this, since that one is the only album in which he does that. Anyway, "Resident" and "Who My Friends...", this last one here sung by Aaron Lippert, are among the best songs of "The Green Album", and those live versions are very good, also because of Marco Minneman's great drumming. The instrumentals "Prelude" and "Nostalgia" go into a couple of numbers from his ambient album "Theme of Secrets" ("Spheres of Influence" and "Inner Secrets"), which sound quite good, in spite of their electronic nature, difficult to represent on stage. One track and 24 years later, we have 3 out of the 4 songs from the UKZ "Radiation" EP. The title-cut is a much needed dose of agressivity, "Houston" showcases Aaron Lippert's poetic vocals and the Crimsonian instrumental "Tu-95" allows the band to display their technical skill. The instrumental section from "Through the Glass", originally on "The Green Album", closes the main set, leaving a good feeling and giving a sense of continuity to the event. The show is not over yet and, for the encores, Sonja Kristina and John Wetton join the band for "Young Mother" and "Caesar's Palace Blues", respectively. The concert ends with a grandiose rendition of Bill Bruford's "Forever Until Sunday", quite an adequate way to close a great show.

Even though it is not a 10/10, "Four Decades" is still undoubtedly a great retrospective which highlights and brings out Eddie Jobson's artistic and instrumental caliber. But, if the music is very good, the rest of the package is a bit difficult to judge. The album's production is not great: the mix is ​​rather strange, overly focused on the high frequencies and with too much fake reverb, and, above all, the mastering is quite bad, and some sections seem to saturate, expecially notable on "Resident". Moreover, the only way to get this little gem is buying it from Ward Records' website in a deluxe package that, in addition to the double CD, includes the Blu-Ray, a shirt and a number of other bonuses. Although it can be ordered from all over the world, this package is printed only in Japan, and this means that in addition to the original cost of 16000 yen (about 120 €/135 $), we also must add customs fees and shipping costs. So, the gigantic package, the high price and the difficulty in obtaining this set might discourage more than one person. If we want to be mean spirited, we could comment that it seeems that Jobson wishes to voluntarily exclude himself in order to pass on his music to a select few, and if this were the case, it would be a shame: a musician with a career like his certainly deserves to be celebrated. But perhaps, more realistically, this type of product, dedicated to a specific group of fans, could also be the only way to remain on the market for the English multi-instrumentalist. Whatever the issue is, you can not help but having regrets, for different reasons. Fortunately, even in cases like these, music remains the protagonist and, with Eddie Jobson, the quality is always high.


cheers

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father-0blivion
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Post 2015-03-02 13:29   [Quote] 
Thanks for the heads up and thanks for doing a translation too! Very Happy

FOB. Smile

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Post 2015-03-02 13:50   [Quote] 
Yeah, nice one Galeans.

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Galeans
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Post 2015-03-02 20:34   [Quote] 
Thank you, guys! It was not easy to translate this, I'm glad the message came across Smile

cheers

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DLHotch
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Post 2015-03-03 20:02   [Quote] 
Galeans wrote:
Thank you, guys! It was not easy to translate this, I'm glad the message came across Smile

cheers


Not only does it come across, it's quite well-written and fully-descriptive even in translation...great job!
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Galeans
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Post 2015-03-03 21:22   [Quote] 
DLHotch wrote:
Not only does it come across, it's quite well-written and fully-descriptive even in translation...great job!


Thank you very much, I'm flattered! Very Happy hug

cheers

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rabbit
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Post 2015-03-03 23:01   [Quote] 
Galeans wrote:
Thank you, guys! It was not easy to translate this, I'm glad the message came across Smile

cheers

We need more Galeans here...thanks a lot! Smile
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father-0blivion
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Post 2015-03-03 23:19   [Quote] 
Galeans wrote:
DLHotch wrote:
Not only does it come across, it's quite well-written and fully-descriptive even in translation...great job!

Thank you very much, I'm flattered! Very Happy hug

rabbit wrote:
We need more Galeans here...thanks a lot! Smile

father-0blivion wrote in the nicest possible way:
grouphug It's a true love in grouphug (il suo vero amore in)

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Post 2015-03-04 05:37   [Quote] 
Thanks, Galeans. I enjoyed your review.

If Jobson toured with Tull, then I caught him twice back then. The other would be a UK show. UK was a kick-ass live band.

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Post 2015-03-04 10:45   [Quote] 
HughGotIt wrote:
If Jobson toured with Tull, then I caught him twice back then. The other would be a UK show. UK was a kick-ass live band.


I first saw Jethro Tull in Concert in October 1979. This was the Stormwatch Tour, which has just been released in September of that year. UK was the opening act. I was impressed enough to later buy their "Live" album. This gem left my collection at some point and I have thought about tracking down another copy.

"A" was recorded after the 1980 European spring tour. Released in August 1980 in the U.K. and in the U.S. in September that year.

The point being it would be in the Fall of 1980 that Eddie would have been on the tour supporting "A".

On either the 20th or the 25th anniversary video Ian Anderson and some of the band mates poke fun at Eddie for his full on use of make-up, and his elaborate key board set-up.

Here is the official Jethro Tull site where they say Eddie is merely a Guest Violinist http://jethrotull.com/the-attic/past-band-members-and-guests/eddie-jobson/
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Galeans
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Post 2015-03-04 12:36   [Quote] 
Woha, thank you all! I really appreciate this! Very Happy

Regarding Eddie Jobson's stunt with Jethro Tull, as we know, he recorded on the "A" album. He actually asked to be credited as a special guest, but he performed like a full member. On the back of the LP he's even credited as "additional musical material", which is an honour which most other band members never had. The songs I cited on the review are among the ones in which I hear Eddie's arranging quite well. He played live with Jethro Tull in their US (October - December 80) and European (February 81) tours, but he also played in their only 1985 concert, in Germany and appeared as a special surprise guest 9th November 1989 on East Rutherford. He had a big stage presence and even violin solos. Ian Anderson and Eddie Jobson seem to go along well to these days, judging by the way they talk about each other in interviews, so I'm quite surprised that he didn't include anything from his Tull era on "Four Decades". Some songs, "Uniform" for example, could have been arranged perfectly with this line-up, flute or not. Maybe it's the absence of an adequate singer?

cheers

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Post 2015-03-05 01:13   [Quote] 
Galeans wrote:
Woha, thank you all! I really appreciate this! Very Happy

Regarding Eddie Jobson's stunt with Jethro Tull, as we know, he recorded on the "A" album. He actually asked to be credited as a special guest, but he performed like a full member. On the back of the LP he's even credited as "additional musical material", which is an honour which most other band members never had. The songs I cited on the review are among the ones in which I hear Eddie's arranging quite well. He played live with Jethro Tull in their US (October - December 80) and European (February 81) tours, but he also played in their only 1985 concert, in Germany and appeared as a special surprise guest 9th November 1989 on East Rutherford. He had a big stage presence and even violin solos. Ian Anderson and Eddie Jobson seem to go along well to these days, judging by the way they talk about each other in interviews, so I'm quite surprised that he didn't include anything from his Tull era on "Four Decades". Some songs, "Uniform" for example, could have been arranged perfectly with this line-up, flute or not. Maybe it's the absence of an adequate singer?

cheers


Earlier today I noticed the current release of "A" has a second disc [DVD Pal] which looks to many of the video shot with Eddiie Jobson. As I mentioned before I am familiar with some of these from the 20th and 25th Jethro Tull Anniversary videos. At first I thought it funny that he appeared on the Too Old To Rock and Roll video, which was recorded before he was in the band! Yet in the context of the time it makes sense. MTV was born in 1980 so to get on that channel the record company had to pump out some videos.
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Post 2015-03-05 02:09   [Quote] 
cyranoDB wrote:
MTV was born in 1980 so to get on that channel the record company had to pump out some videos.


The main Tull video I remember from the early years of MTV was a live version of "Aqualung" that I believe was from that Slipstream video with Jobson.
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Post 2015-03-05 02:19   [Quote] 
Galeans wrote:
and appeared as a special surprise guest 9th November 1989 on East Rutherford


Thanks! First time I heard of this appearance. Any idea where I could hear this? Not on Dime or Sugarmegs.
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Post 2015-03-05 07:57   [Quote] 
cyranoDB wrote:
I first saw Jethro Tull in Concert in October 1979. This was the Stormwatch Tour . . . UK was the opening act.
Thanks, Cy! I had a feeling they opened for Tull. Should've written that on the back of my ticket (see below).
My first big arena concert was two years before this. Jethro Tull Songs From the Wood Tour. Which was awesome.

cyranoDB wrote:
Fall of 1980 that Eddie would have been on the tour supporting "A".
Sure, saw that tour too.
Funny stuff about Jobson's love of make-up.
Ha! I think Ian's wearing plenty of make-up these days!

Yes, Galeans. It is strange that he left out the JT material in his show.


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