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Bert Jansch

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Bert Jansch Bert Jansch & Martin Jenkins: Avocet album cover
4.33 | 17 ratings | 5 reviews | 24% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Avocet (17:59)
2. Lapwing (1:33)
3. Bittern (7:49)
4. Kingfisher (3:44)
5. Osprey (3:14)
6. Kittiwake (2:47)

Total time: 37:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Herbert "Bert" Jansch / acoustic guitar, piano
- Martin Jenkins / mandocello, violin, flute

- Danny Thompson / bass

Releases information

Artwork: Jesper Wetterslev Frederiksen

LP Exlibris ‎- EXL 30.005 (1978, Denmark)

CD Castle Music ‎- CMQCD763 (2003, UK) Remastered by Tim Burrell with new cover art
CD Earth ‎- EARTHCD010 (2016, UK) Remastered by Brian Pyle with new cover art

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BERT JANSCH Bert Jansch & Martin Jenkins: Avocet ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(59%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BERT JANSCH Bert Jansch & Martin Jenkins: Avocet reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by GruvanDahlman
4 stars This is a surprise and "pleasant" doesn't even begin to describe the feeling. At first I was hesitant about the content of the album. I liked the idea and the cover but sort of lacked the vocals of Jansch. Or so I thought, anyway.

The album consists of six instrumental pieces, vTying in lengts from a couple of minutes to the epic title track with it's striking 18 minutes in length. The songs are all varied but cling together very nicely, bringing musical texture to the wildlife presented on the cover. Now, I am not an ornothologist but I do see before me beautiful scenery with birds flying, eating or whatever they do do.

Avocet is, in essence, a bold step. Not really a too far cry from the folk he'd already produced, yet quite different. Maybe it is due to the fact that Jansch does not sing on the album or maybe it is more of a prog-folk album than anything else he had been recording up to that point. And besides, producing an album of this kind in 1978/1979 shows a musisician totally in control of his vision, being on top of his game. Avocet is a rare little gem, well worth discovering. If you are hesitant, try Kingfisher first. I guatantee you you won't be disappointed.

Review by Matti
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.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I've always been a regular listener of early Bert Jansch - especially Nicola, Birthday Blues and Rosemary Lane. Already in the first seconds of Avocet, I knew this was a whole different album. The violin, cello an the flute in the great first track (a whole epic of 17min in 1978!) gave a breath t ... (read more)

Report this review (#1468651) | Posted by GKR | Tuesday, September 22, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Saving the best for last. Well, at least I was, as far as Bert Jansch album reviews. If any album in the Jansch canon could be considered pure Prog Folk, it's Avocet. Yet, I'm only the third reviewer of this incredible work from 1978 that Jansch never bettered, or even tried to. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1441397) | Posted by SteveG | Thursday, July 16, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars - First review of this album - This is one of my favourite Bert Jansch albums and probably the most proggy of his folk/jazz albums. He went out on a limb in 1979 to produce a daring, experimental instrumental album that contains 6 tracks with the 18 minute title track being IMHO a masterpie ... (read more)

Report this review (#732239) | Posted by BarryGlibb | Wednesday, April 18, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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