Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Music of the spheres?

As my English StumbleUpon friend Harry Stottle astutely remarks, “...’king brilliant.”

Cady Coleman, Ian Anderson duet

Earth-Space challenge: Cady Coleman, Ian Anderson duet.
[ Image Source ]

Naturally, anything that combines “space” and “Jethro Tull” is bound to be brilliant; for JT really was a brilliant band that helped redefine rock in the 1960s with its flautistic virtuosity and stylistic trailblazing. Who, once having heard “Bungle in the Jungle,” “Aqualung,” “Skating Away (On The Thin Ice of a New Day)” or “Thick as a Brick,” could ever forget it or confound it with the work of another group?

All told, the band was by rumor almost sufficiently talented to justify its arrogance. Others, meanwhile, said its talent was sufficient to justify delusions of godhood.

Here, however, we find an aging and more sedate — but still musically lively — Ian Anderson teaming up with astronaut/flautist/scene-stealer Cady Coleman; here there is no controversy, but a pleasant sample of Jethro Tull’s flute work from the band’s 1969 remake of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Bourree in E-Minor.” Perhaps the most jarring aspect that one can find in it is Coleman’s floating hair — and Anderson’s lack of the same, which may shock those who remember a more hirsute Anderson during JT’s heyday, although one can trace the beginnings of a receding hairline even then.

Ian Anderson performing in Jethro Tull concert

Ian Anderson skates with the thick hair of old days.
[ Image Source ]

Being in low-gravity conditions on board the International Space Station was in itself a perfect prop for Coleman’s dramatic entrance — which I don’t propose to spoil for you by describing it. However, I think Coleman should concentrate on her astronautic career; her overacting makes her look the buffoon at times, particularly when she starts to toss her flute from hand to hand, lest Anderson become the center of attention.

Also, about those eyebrows (and the general facial animation): Is this Coleman’s usual persona, or did her expressions get exaggerated by the lack of gravity?

All humor aside, though, this performance really deserves Harry’s epithet.

Originally published as a review of a article about a most unusual duet.

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