Two fantastic albums from guitar genius Bert Jansch! First up is his self-titled album from 1965 – an album of simple structure, but incredible power – and a record that prefaces so many other sounds to come! The set just features the young Bert Jansch on vocals and guitar – years before his presence in Pentangle – but working with such a complex array of influences and elements that we could spend pages just trying to unpack all that's going on in his work! Yet he also delivers the whole thing with an amazingly understated quality – one that's easygoing, open-handed, and completely un-self-conscious of its genius – so that the whole thing hardly telegraphs its interweaving of jazz, blues, and folk – its sense of ancient and modern – and the way that it can touch so many different scenes at once. Titles include "Needle Of Death", "Smokey River", "Finches", "I Have No Time", "Strolling Down The Highway", "Do You Hear Me Now", "Casbah", and "Alice's Wonderland". Next is Jack Orion
– a huge leap forward for the mighty Bert Jansch – and a record that's somehow even more amazing than the ones that came before! Bert's maybe even more introspective here, but also on a personal journey that takes him down musical paths that seem broader than before – almost echoing a wider range of influences on his guitar performance, yet in a way that still comes across with a uniquely pointed vibe. There's some occasional shift in the instrumentation, too – as Jansch plays banjo on the leadoff track, but with the same chilling currents as his sublime acoustic guitar – and John Renbourn joins on second guitar for a number of tracks, prefacing the pair's collaboration to come. And as with all of Jansch's genius material at this point, there's a quality that's both ancient and modern, timeless and uniquely tied to its moment – flowering beautifully on tunes that include "Jack Orion
", "The Waggoner's Lad", "Nottamun Town", "Black Water Side", "Pretty Polly", and "The Gardner".
(Out of print.)