Bert Jansch: The Essential Bert Jansch (Union Square)

 |   |  1 min read

Bert Jansch: In This Game (1972)
Bert Jansch: The Essential Bert Jansch (Union Square)

In the liner notes to this 26-track double CD collection Jansch says, "I only know how to play a guitar and write songs. I don't know anything else when it comes down to it."

The likes of Jimmy Page who was influenced by Jansch's acoustic folk style and fans such as Devendra Banhardt, Johnny Marr, Graham Coxon and dozens of others in the new folk movement (Fleet Foxes etc) would probably say that is more than enough from this sixtysomething Scot.

He was a founder of Pentangle who -- alongside Steeleye Span, Donovan, John Renbourn, Davey Graham, Fairport Convention and others -- were prime movers in the Anglofolk movement of the Sixties which in turn opened the door for the likes of Nick Drake.

With a style which incorporated finger-picking alongside jazz influences and traditional folk songs -- as well as his exceptional and increasingly inventive originals -- he has been so long established as to be accorded "legendary" status.

Not many can say they have played with Pete Doherty of Babyshambles and had their songs covered by Donovan (Do You Hear Me Now, included here in its '65 version), or had one of his pieces pinched wholesale by Led Zeppelin (his Blackwaterside song also here became their Black Mountain Side instrumental).

This collection is mostly drawn from his Sixties output and although he is still active, this is perhaps the period most of his current devotees look back to.

Old hands will know Jansch's work well enough and will have albums like Jack Orion, some Pentangle and his '79 outing Avocet in their collections (and maybe even his more recent Black Swan from '06).

But if he is another of those people you have just heard namechecked then this is as good a place as any to start.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Tono and the Finance Company: Fragile Thing EP (Border)

Tono and the Finance Company: Fragile Thing EP (Border)

One of the nicest things about small indie artists is the care they lavish on the presentation of their low-key albums. Witness the delightful Tokey Tones albums or even the more rough-hewn albums... > Read more

Various Artists: Naga; New Music for Gamelan (Rattle)

Various Artists: Naga; New Music for Gamelan (Rattle)

Those of us lucky enough to have been to Java or Bali -- and who have ventured further than the beach or pool for cultural experiences -- will attest to the extraordinary sound of a gamelan... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER KATHYRN VAN BEEK pays tribute to Auckland's shady lady

GUEST WRITER KATHYRN VAN BEEK pays tribute to Auckland's shady lady

‘K’Road’s colour under threat of whitewash,’ said the headline -- but the red lights are already turning off. The Pink Pussy Cat is now an immigration consultancy, the... > Read more

DEXTER GORDON CONSIDERED (2014): It's time to Go again

DEXTER GORDON CONSIDERED (2014): It's time to Go again

In one iconic photo by Herman Leonard taken in New York in 1948, the cool of Dexter Gordon -- his cigarette smoke coiling up above him -- came to symbolise and codify the image of jazz for many.... > Read more