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Review: 'JANSCH, BERT'
'Avocet - 40th Anniversary Edition'   

-  Label: 'Earth Recordings'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '15th November 2019'

Our Rating:
This instrumental album was recorded quickly and originally released to no great fanfare in 1979. With the passage of time the "meditative paean to British birds" has grown in reputation and Jansch's biographer Colin Harper names it as "one of the greatest works of Bert's career".

On it Jansch plays acoustic guitar and piano accompanied by Martin Jenkins (mandocello, fiddle and flute) and Danny Thompsom on bass.

To mark the album's 40th anniversary, Earth recordings present an elegant limited white vinyl edition with the added bonus of three never-before heard downloadable tracks (Bittern; Kingfisher; Avocet) recorded live in Italy in 1977.

The 18 minute title track takes up the whole of Side A. The ode to this wading bird provides the best illustration of Jansch's nimble finger picking style. The joyful piece twists and turns seamlessly and features flute parts that would not be out of place on a Jethro Tull album.

The remaining five tunes include Lapwing, a short piano piece, and Osprey a fiddle tune composed by Jenkins before Jansch's guitar returns to take centre stage for the short closing tune, Kittiwake.

This album is a uniquely personal work made without any great commercial ambitions in mind and the welcome reissue helps confirm its standing as one of Jansch's finest works.

Bert Jansch's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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JANSCH, BERT - Avocet - 40th Anniversary Edition