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Bert Jansch - Bert Jansch & Martin Jenkins: Avocet CD (album) cover


Bert Jansch


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4.34 | 17 ratings

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4 stars The listeners of classic British folk-rock remember guitarist Bert Jansch as a key member of PENTANGLE (which, by the way, I consider musically more competent than Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span). Jansch was a respected musician already before that band, and has expanded his solo output for decades. This well received instrumental album from 1978 was recently re- released by Earth Records. All ornithologists will be delighted by the colour drawings and Latin names of the birds that gave their names for the tracks. Als the album cover is new, with more linear graphics.

The title composition that fills an entire vinyl side (17:59) is the obvious main dish, magnum opus. It's a harmonic, beautiful, very naturally flowing Folk Prog piece. Notice that the whole album is percussionless. There really is no need for them, as the trio -- the composer Bert Jansch on guitars and piano, Martin Jenkins on mandocello (!?), violin and flute, and the mighty, unmistakable Danny Thompson on jazz-rooted bass -- use their Instruments to create dynamic, organic and absolutely pure & honest music that breathes like nature itself.

The five shorter tracks aren't bad either, if not as impressive. 'Lapwing' is a brief, piano centred tune in minor key. 'Bittern' (7:49) has the richest arrangement of these, highlighting a tasty combination of acoustic and electric guitars. 'Kingfisher' with its guitar tapping and violin has a "swampy" atmosphere, and the violin takes even bigger role on 'Osprey'. 'Kittiwake' (the drawing reveals that the bird belongs to the seagull family) ends the album in a light-hearted manner.

This was my first acquaintance to Bert Jansch's solo vast discography, but I'm interested to find some more, both instrumental and vocal music. Listen to this music with an open mind and you'll enjoy its natural beauty even if it at first may appear as slightly boring. But despite acknowledging the high musical quality, my real subjective rating is only 3 stars, since in the end there wasn't very much emotions involved in the listening.

Matti | 4/5 |


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