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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb creative fusion
In 1966 two of England's best folk guitarists/singer-composers got together to collabrate on a joint project and the results were excellent. It led directly to the formation of the well-known folk group of the era, Pentangle. All of the tracks except two on this CD are short instrumentals; the longest is their version of the Charles Mingus jazz classic "Goodbye Pork...
Published on 3 Nov 2001 by connoisseur

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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great music, shame about the guitar
Call me pedantic, but the great music on this disc is ruined for me by one of the two guitars (undoubtedly Bert Jansch's) being set up so poorly it's a downright pain to listen to. Quite simply, the instrument is buzzing and rattling very badly all the way through. It may be a consciously created effect to somewhat emulate the sound of a sitar. If so, the experiment...
Published on 10 Oct 2009 by Philip S. Walker


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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb creative fusion, 3 Nov 2001
By 
connoisseur (Wellington New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bert and John (Audio CD)
In 1966 two of England's best folk guitarists/singer-composers got together to collabrate on a joint project and the results were excellent. It led directly to the formation of the well-known folk group of the era, Pentangle. All of the tracks except two on this CD are short instrumentals; the longest is their version of the Charles Mingus jazz classic "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" at 3:54 (incidentally it is interesting to compare this version with Jeff Beck's). Most of the tracks were written by the pair, either jointly or singly and contain plenty of innovative melodies, themes, and guitar licks. The total running time is a meagre 26:33, but there is plenty of absorbing accoustic guitar music within it.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, intoxicating guitar, 30 Mar 2003
This review is from: Bert and John (Audio CD)
This album is so much part of me, I really am struggling to describe why you should own it. It's the truest, most pure & wonderful music you can find. The songs have a haunting, seductive quality - you really feel Bert & John are having the time of their lives, and in total control of where they're taking you.
Just try it, you'll be suprised. After the 5th listen you'll have it on top of your CD pile...
Will
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The time has come - but not gone, 18 Mar 2011
By 
H. Llewelyn "Hugh Llewelyn the Welshman" (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bert and John (Audio CD)
I bought the vinyl album - called "Stepping Stones" - when a 6th former without knowing anything about either Bert Jansch or John Renbourne but curious to see what they sounded like. I was aware that Jansch was a bit of a cult even then (no typo there, incidentally). And I was amazed: at it's simplicity - in its short, sharp songs - and it's complexity - in it's incredibly accomplished guitar playing. Jansch's playing simply defies description. He is truely unique. All tracks are superb but for me "The Time has Come" is the most shuddering. Although it isn't exactly PC as it seems to be about the singer saying goodbye to his lover because he is going on tour - the US perhaps? - and really wants to be unencumbered so he can enjoy the groupies without a conscience. That's my take on it, anyway! All good, clean fun.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great music, shame about the guitar, 10 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Bert and John (Audio CD)
Call me pedantic, but the great music on this disc is ruined for me by one of the two guitars (undoubtedly Bert Jansch's) being set up so poorly it's a downright pain to listen to. Quite simply, the instrument is buzzing and rattling very badly all the way through. It may be a consciously created effect to somewhat emulate the sound of a sitar. If so, the experiment didn't work. Jansch's pretty unbearable habit of pulling the strings to make them slap against the fretboard doesn't make it any better, particularly not when Renbourn starts to employ the same "technique". All this may have been less of a problem on the original vinyl, but on CD it is merciless, at least to my ears, and that is a big shame, because this is no doubt in all other respects a superb, path-breaking album. If you have no problem with the issues mentioned above I can strongly recommend it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired, 15 July 2007
By 
Nottamun (Strasbourg, France) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bert and John (Audio CD)
Why does Amazon attribute this to Bert Jansch? If ever you were looking for an inspired collaboration of two equal partners, then surely this delivers the goods. More than forty years on and it still gives me shivers. I have several versions of 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' and this version stands with the best of them. 'Stepping Stones' continues to make me wince with delight, though I must have heard it a hundred times. And 'After the Dance' always leaves me wanting more. John Renbourn came up, less than two years later, with 'Sir John Alot Of Merrie Englandes Musyk Thyng And Ye Grene Knyghte', surely one of the most cringemaking titles ever contrived but also a seminal and utterly brilliant album which I still rank amongst my top ten of all time. Virtually simultaneously, the first of the Pentangle albums was released. Three gems.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A welcomed gift, 21 Oct 2013
By 
M. W. Russell - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bert and John (Audio CD)
Bought as a present for an individual who was looking for inspiration for learning guitar skills; they said "Left me wanting more".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 25 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Bert and John (Audio CD)
I really loved this album - they are both young and enthused, and it was a real pleasure to be able to listen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bert & John, 22 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Bert and John (Audio CD)
Lovely, lovely bluesy CD - they havealways been amongst my favourites and when I lived in the UK I went to many of their gigs in London - so its a real nostalga thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 23 Feb 2013
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Karl Laurent - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bert and John (Audio CD)
I loved it back in the late seventies, I still love it now. I thought it was lost forever and could not find the album anywhere .
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Posterity, 24 Mar 2011
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This review is from: Bert and John (Audio CD)
After all these years of deluded notions, of having outgrown musically this kind of close-miked document of 'contemporary folk', and beyond that, of 60s attitude and creativity; it's brilliantly shocking to hear this CD re-issue of how it was on that afternoon of what was essentially a home-recording directly engineered to tape (including the distant dog in the park: 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat') some of which ambiance I really can't recall having heard on my first vinyl copy (as an impressionable purist, but stereo-less fourteen year old kid).

On the left channel John Renbourn's acoustic guitar, at first impression seems to ring rather dominantly but it's not a volume thing overall; Bert Jansch's instrument is just a bit muted by a too-low action, presumably (?). On the right, it certainly sustains more like a semi-acoustic, when unplugged might do as it lends itself to the jazz-based harmonies of this otherwise wide-open-to-any-influence, take on GPPHat -- the difference in tonality blends very well indeed throughout the entire CD: most people might have ensured that the percussively warm-sounding guitar had been set-up, as per anal fussiness of certain session men for jingly hire: Bert, almost arbitrarily unique in most ways, appears to have just picked the thing up and lived in the moment with it -- one of.

They got it spontaneously right on the day and there's more jazz in that than a lot of post-modern jazz records, which also sets it apart from the current trend of artificially bright nails extensions, post Wes Montgomery aural exciters, etc. Which is just great, even now.
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