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Bert Jansch - Jack Orion CD (album) cover


Bert Jansch


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3.67 | 8 ratings

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3 stars A good 3.0.

When I look at the different track listings of this album on PA, Windows Media Player, and Wikipedia, I can't help myself but ask this question: "Why does this obscure folk work have different running orders on different sources?" Let's just discuss the music itself.

Spoiler alert: you won't hear any prog. But don't lose all of your faith in this album if you are still looking for some good music and you haven't found it yet, unless you are not into folk. Half of the record is a set of my personal favorites. 'Waggoner's Lad' is a traditional folk piece played on a banjo by the legend himself, Bert Jansch, who is backed by his future Pentangle buddy John Renbourn. The whole thing sounds so darn catchy and has a good beat. Just think back to Led Zeppelin's 'Bron-Y-Aur Stomp' if you still remember that one. If you want some more traditional folk, there you have it in the face of 'Black Water Side', where Bert's technique and vocal melodies won't let you down. Again, think Led Zeppelin. Does 'Black Mountain Side' ring any bells? After that comes my biggest favorite, as you can see that in the ratings below. 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' is Bert's rendition of an old Ewan McColl song, and this cover sounds pretty similar in melody, rhythm, and tempo to 'Black Water Side'. But what is it that makes this one so different from the previous track? 'The First Time Ever' is played in a different key and the melody is a tiny bit different, and that makes all the difference for me. By the way, have you ever heard an inebriated gardener? Well, Bert was one of them on 'The Gardener'. The way he sings with that slight growl on occasions is just so remarkable. As for the music, it sounds somewhat similar to the previous tracks. Who said that 'tis a sin to recycle own music? If J. S. Bach used to do that, why couldn't Bert? As for the rest of the album, the tracks sound very much alike and there isn't that much variety in texture. At least the music isn't over the top. Check out 'Pretty Polly' and 'Henry Martin' where the buzzing guitar sounds like a saw.

Ratings/comments (if you have to ask):

1. 'The Waggoner's Lad' - **** ; 2. 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' - ***** ; 3. 'Jack Orion' - ** ; 4. 'The Gardener' - **** ; 5. 'Nottamun Town' - ** ; 6. 'Henry Martin' - ** ; 7. 'Black Water Side' - **** ; 8. 'Pretty Polly' - ** ; 9. '900 Miles' - ** ;

Stamp: "I like it."

Dayvenkirq | 3/5 |


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