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Bert Jansch

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Bert Jansch Bert Jansch & John Renbourn: Bert And John [Aka: Stepping Stones] album cover
4.86 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews | 50% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1966

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. East Wind (1:25)
2. Piano Tune (1:39)
3. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (3:51)
4. Soho (3:00)
5. Tic-Tocative (1:56)
6. Orlando (1:40)
7. Red's Favourite (1:34)
8. No Exit (1:26)
9. Along the Way (2:04)
10. The Time Has Come (2:55)
11. Stepping Stones (2:43)
12. After the Dance (2:26)

Total time: 26:39

Bonus tracks on 1966 Canada release:
My Lover (4:04)
It Don't Bother Me (4:25)

Bonus tracks on 1996 CD release:
13. The Waggoner's Lad (3:25) - From "Jack Orion" album
14. Lucky Thirteen (3:33) - From "It Don't Bother Me" album
15. In This Game (Outtake) (4:08)
16. Dissatisfied Blues (Outtake) (2:52)
17. Pentangle - Hole in the Cole (Edited version) (2:45)
18. Pentangle - Bells (Edited version) (2:49)

Line-up / Musicians

- Herbert "Bert" Jansch / acoustic guitar, banjo (13), vocals (4,10), arrangements
- John Renbourn / acoustic guitar

Releases information

Artwork: Brian Shuel

LP Transatlantic Records ‎- TRA 144 (1966, UK)
LP Vanguard ‎- VSD 6506 (1966, Canada) Retitled "Stepping Stones" with 2 bonus tracks, different cover art and track running order
LP Sanctuary Records ‎- TRA 144 (2015, Europe) Remastered from original tapes

CD Wooded Hill Recordings ‎- HILL CD 8 (1996, UK) With 6 bonus tracks
CD Castle Music ‎- CMRCD203 (2001, UK) Remastered from the original tapes
CD BMG ‎- TRACD 144 (2015, Europe) Remastered

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BERT JANSCH Bert Jansch & John Renbourn: Bert And John [Aka: Stepping Stones] ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(50%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BERT JANSCH Bert Jansch & John Renbourn: Bert And John [Aka: Stepping Stones] reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Negoba
5 stars One of the Defining Albums of Folk Baroque

Bert Jansch and John Renbourn were some of the most important guitarists of the "2nd" English folk revival of the 60's that coincided with the similar American movement. Jansch's quirky guitar style was an extension and evolution of Davy Graham's pioneering work, while Renbourne combined early American country blues guitar stylings with European medieval folk. Together, they helped create a sound called "folk baroque" that also drew from American jazz and Northern African influences. While many of the solo albums from this group of musicians are folk with some progressive tendencies, BERT AND JOHN draws on so many influences and highlights enough new ideas that I think "prog folk" is a truly apt description.

To be certain, the two guitarists have a much wider concept of harmony than that found in American folk and old-time music. The jazz influence is most obvious on a cover of Charles Mingus' classic "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat." Alternate tunings and modal ideas abound, which will remind most of Jimmy Page or perhaps Nick Drake. (If you imagine those two with acoustic guitars and in a good mood, that might approach the sound of this disc.) Both Jansch and Renbourne play intricate rhythm ideas based on strong fingerstyle skills. But the core sound is Jansch's elaborate accompaniment with Renbourn's ornamentation and bendy soloing. Pentangle fans will recognize the sounds here immediately.

"After the Dance" superficially is based on a single plodding bass note but both guitarists weave in and around this pulse in a snaky twirl. At times they seem to be simply soloing independently, and then will lock in for a phrase like the best jazz combos. "East Wind" is a more composed piece with the two fingerstyle parts creating an enormous sound. The whole recording is recorded very upfront and clean, with the guitars sounding just as they would if the two were giving a living room concert. Davy Graham's taste for Moroccan tonality slips in subtly in various bends and note choices. Despite a fairly wide base of songs choices, the sound of the two is consistent and solid. The album is also well paced with just the right combination of variety and identity.

I've been searching for the best example of this sound for a long time. The tastes I first got from Led Zeppelin III and later from the Pentangle may reach their peak here. Though the vocals and amazing rhythm section of this pair's later group were delicious, they did place a constraint on the pure guitar bliss found here.

I initially intended to give this 4 stars but on repeated listening for this review, this may be the best of its kind. Whether Folk Baroque, Prog Folk, or whatever label you choose, this sound is unique and this album is a masterpiece within the style. Highly highly recommended.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Another wonderful and necessary record to accompany listening to the early Pentangle canon is this 'folk baroque' classic collaboration by Bert Jansch and John Renbourn that is a powerhouse recording of mostly titillating and jaw dropping instrumentals that runs the gamut of Arabic scales raga ... (read more)

Report this review (#1919732) | Posted by SteveG | Saturday, May 5, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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