So when I was sent 'Avocet', the 40th year anniversary, I was not inclined to listen. Sometimes I do anyway and yes I was pleasantly surprised.
(Her)bert Jansch was born in Glasgow in 1943 and died in 2011. Avocet originally was an album recorded after a period of stepping away from music after Pentangle had folded, a folk band from the late 60s, Jansch being one of the founding members. Before Pentangle Jansch already was a recording artist in London, his songs successfully being covered by Donovan, 'Do You Hear Me Now' or stolen by Jimmy Page, 'Blackwaterside' that became 'Black Mountain Side'.
On 'Avocet' Bert Jansch blends traditional folk sounds with more modern influences. In that sense he emulates Led Zeppelin in a way, fully dropping the rock side that 70s dinosaur band always held within it. Yet many other bands from the 70s can be heard in some of the, strictly instrumental, songs. On the new version, three live recordings are added to the original.
The music on Avocet keeps my mind at work and at bay. I notice I'm following the way the main theme is worked out but also notice that I am not drawn into the music. How I admire the quality of playing, the pure skill and sound, but it does not warm my heart. At the same time I cannot deny being attracted by the playing. As such I am remembered by music I heard on several Kairos shows on Concertzender. Jazz music from a trio with a Polish name, I can't remember. Musically totally intriguing me, with one difference: I can imagine returning to Avocet, easily. As the guitar based music by Bert Jansch is more familiar to me in sound. The bass by the way is played by Danny Thompson, ex-Pentangle as well, and Martin Jenkins playing all the other instruments that can be heard on the album.
You can listen to and buy Avocet, the 40 anniversary here:
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