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Bert Jansch

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Bert Jansch Jack Orion album cover
3.88 | 12 ratings | 4 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1966

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Waggoner's Lad (3:22)
2. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (1:45)
3. Jack Orion (9:50)
4. The Gardener (1:40)
5. Nottamun Town (4:30)
6. Henry Martin (3:17)
7. Black Water Side (3:49)
8. Pretty Polly (4:07)

Total time 32:20

Bonus track on 1991 CD release:
9. 900 Miles (3:08) - taken from "It Don't Bother Me" 1965 album

Line-up / Musicians

- Herbert "Bert" Jansch / acoustic guitar, banjo (1,9), arrangements

- John Renbourn / acoustic guitar (1,3,6,8)

Releases information

Artwork: Brian Shuel

LP Transatlantic Records ‎- TRA 143 (1966, UK)
LP XTRA ‎- XTRA 1164 (1976, UK) Retitled "Early Bert, volume 2"
LP Sanctuary Records ‎- TRA 143 (2015, Europe) Remastered from original tapes

CD Vanguard ‎- VMD 6544 (1991, US) New cover art and different track list with a bonus track
CD Castle Music ‎- CMRCD304 (2001, UK) Remastered

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy BERT JANSCH Jack Orion Music

BERT JANSCH Jack Orion ratings distribution

(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BERT JANSCH Jack Orion reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Negoba
3 stars Digging to the Source

My love of acoustic guitar sprang largely from a little boy named Jimmy Page. His slightly exotic and Celtic flavors on the Led Zeppelin albums always appealed to me, and one of the most impressive outings was a little piece from LZ I called "Black Mountain Side." I have never really been able to nail this piece, but I've certainly tried. Over the years, I finally found that the piece is essentially ripped straight from the English Dylan, Bert Jansch. As I've combed through Jansch's works, it is clear that this album, JACK ORION, is one that Page must have listened to over and over.

For me, the big track initially was "Black Waterside." Anne Briggs gave Jansch this tune during an earlier collaboration, and he arranged the iconic guitar part that Page lifted. But Jansch also uses the same rolling rhythm and style on "The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" and "The Gardener." However, the great opener "The Waggoner's Lad" was also accessed liberally by Pagey most notably on "Bron-y-Aur Stomp." "Lad" is a great duet with Jansch playing banjo and John Renbourne playing lead guitar. Both guitarists learned at the foot of the legendary Davy Graham, with Renbourne becoming the more schooled player and Jansch the more moody. This contrast works extremely well musically. The pair really shine on "Henry Martin," creating a shimmery sound that I've really found nowhere else.This would foreshadow the duo's fantastic group Pentangle. Renbourne helps on several other tracks and in fact Jansch recording will officially be under the duo.

Jansch's voice is fairly melancholy and languid which is great for this style of folk, but may not be everyone's cup of tea. He does kick it up a notch for "Nottamun Town." Clearly, Jansch's forte is his guitar work, which is quite fresh and energetic here. This album is not really prog in any classic sense, but Jansch's advanced technique and sound went on to infuse a number of bands that we think of as prog folk. Jansch himself has more "progressive" records.

Thus, I am giving this a good but non-essential rating despite its excellent quality. If you like English folk guitar, this may be a near essential recording.

Review by Progfan97402
5 stars OK, so I own the 1970 American version on Vanguard (same label that brought you Joan Baez and Country Joe & the Fish), so this was released some four years later, with a totally different cover (a 1970 picture of Bert Jansch on the cover) and the songs switched around. This is without a doubt my favorite folk album ever. This is straight-up folk, not even folk rock, but even here you can hear elements of what would become the Pentangle, which comes as no surprise, given he and John Renbourn had released albums under their names and together prior to the Pentangle. Here you get "Black Water Side", much talked about, especially because that was the basis for Jimmy Page on Zeppelin's "Black Mountainside", but then it was actually a traditional folk song, but make no mistake the guitar picking from Jansch, and hearing that again on Zeppelin's first album. There's Ewan MacColl's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", which he did with wife Peggy Seeger, and later on in 1969 by Roberta Flack (which became a big hit for her in 1972). Jansch's version is all instrumental, though. "Pretty Polly" is a nice folk song, plus you get another version of "Nottamun Town", which many of you should be familiar with through Fairport Convention's second album What We Did On Our Holidays (or simply Fairport Convention in the States on A&M, with a different cover, not to be confuse with the self-entitled debut that was released in Polydor in the UK, but Cotillion in the US). The title track is amazing, a great folk epic. If you know the version of the Pentangle's Cruel Sister, then you'll notice this one is at a much faster tempo, and half as long. If you didn't care for the slower pace of the Pentangle version, you'll like this one much better. Might not be quite prog folk here, it was 1966, after all, but a real enjoyable folk album!

Latest members reviews

4 stars The third part of the archetype for the sound of future folk rock band The Pentangle, along with John Renbourn's Another Monday and the Jansch/Renbourn collaboration tilted Bert & John. The solo Jansch album Jack Orion, to me, may be the least accessible but the most important. By this time Bert J ... (read more)

Report this review (#1932116) | Posted by SteveG | Thursday, May 17, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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 al ... (read more)

Report this review (#718324) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Monday, April 9, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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