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4.4 out of 5 stars34
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 22 December 2003
Apparently even Bert himself lists this as his personal favorite recording of his accomplished career, and it's not hard to see why.
Six beautiful and beguiling instrumentals: the 18-minute Avocet, and five other shorter pieces each named after a different bird. This is one of the finest acoustic guitarists of all time really at the top of his game.
The pieces ebb and flow beautifully with various folky and jazzy themes disappearing and reappearing throughout. The mind boggles as to how the three musicians managed to remember the pieces, let alone play them so effortlessly.
This is no cheesy "easy listening" music, however, and yet none of it is anything short of magical.
It's the kind of music that you might imagine Nick Drake may have gone onto make in his later years, had he lived longer.
Much of the album conists of the simple trio of Jansch's guitar with Danny Thompson's superb double bass playing and Martin Jenkins on fiddle, punctuated by the odd bit of piano and flute.
For my part, I've practically listened to it on repeat since I first bought it a couple of months ago.
The sound quality on this re-mastered cd is warm and inviting, too, without any of the over-produced, ultra-clean, digital harshness that blights more modern music of this ilk.
A masterpiece from a true British master.
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on 6 November 2003
It borders on criminal that this instrumental collection has taken until 2003 to find a CD release. Jansch with Danny Thompson and Martin Jenkins turns in five folk and jazzy tracks with some superb instrumental work. The analogue production and some of the worst of the noodling on the instruments show their age but elsewhere this is some of the most inspired and evocative music that Jansch ever created. The one minute and thirty seconds of 'Lapwing' provide one rare delight, a solo Bert Jansch piano piece.
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on 21 March 2005
I first bought this on vinyl when it was released and thought it was brilliant. "Music Fan from Pinkerton" ought to get the musical chip off his/her shoulder and actually listen to the music. I know it is superficially a bit easy listening but you cannot hide musical genius and I do not understand that anyone could not hear it here. I am not someone that likes my music pre-digested or unchallenging. I can happily listen to both takes of John Coltrane's Ascension at one go and find loud and discordant music relaxing (Thrakattack by King Crimson, all the electro-funk Miles Davis stuff such as "On The Corner"). I find it frustrating that many people will not try to listen to this more obviously challenging music but I find it more frustrating that many also fail to hear the complexity and subtlety of music such as Bert Jansch's Avocet when it would seem to be so much more accessible. This album is wonderful buy it, listen and you will be rewarded
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VINE VOICEon 20 January 2009
This is one of my all-time favourite albums dating back to its first appearance on vinyl about a hundred years ago. It is so wonderfully soothing and harmonious that I am amazed it isn't better known. I now use it a background music in my therapy practice, to drive to on long journeys and for lazy evenings in front of the fire. It's fabulous and Bert Jansch is a virtuoso!
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on 27 March 2008
The first track Avocet is 17 or so minutes long, and within its weaving tapestry one can hear restraints of other instrumentals recorded with Pentangle, so its not entirely original, although these motifs are entirely reworked, or maybe thats just Jansch returning to themes of his younger days, happily jamming with friends. It is by far and away for me the best track on the album. The other pieces are fine, especially Kingfisher. However as an instrumental album I dont think it works as well as others in the same genre, its a pity Jansch didn't do more - its felt that he could have improved on this.
The same ethereal quality that pervades his other earlier work is still here however, its just not as listenable for me as for example Rosemary Lane. Despite it being a thirty year old album though the production es excellent, and does not sound dated at all.
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on 10 February 2016
Just got my copy on vinyl. It is a lovely package. I may have been lucky but the the sound quality is very good and particularly quiet.
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on 26 February 2016
Not a review about the quality of the music, but the quality of the vinyl edition. The first copy I received had significant scratches to both sides which on side "a" dominated the first 2 minutes or so, the replacement, efficiently handled by Amazon, had scratches in exactly the same place, leading me to believe there is manufacturing issue. I'm going for 3rd time lucky, but not optimistic.
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By the end of the 1970s Bert Jansch was a well known name in the folk world. His albums were highly respected. He had a unique style and by the time of this twelfth album he could afford to diversify into different experiments.

This is an unusual album to say the least. I have to say it is not one of my favourites. However it is an interesting album and deserves a place in a Bert jansch collection. Its main advantage over the previous albums is the individual unique style of it.
Here on this interesting album we get effectively a concept. All the tracks are named after a sea bird or wading bird.
The original side one of the vinyl album was taken up by one track, Avocet, the title track. This piece was inspired by the traditional song The Cuckoo. The other tracks formed the side two of the album.

On the album there is of course Bert Jansch on guitar along with Danny Thompson on bass and Martin Jenkins on Mandocello, violin and flute.

I have always preferred the more folk like feel of previous albums. And so this album is not one of my favourites because it has strong elements of what sounds like improvisational Jazz guitar. (intentionally or by accident it does sound at times like doodling) for some people this may be its strong point, and I appreciate that. It certainly has a freedom of expression.
Don’t get me wrong there is definitely melody and tune. Its just that it sounds so different from other albums before it. I like it because of its unique style, its just not my favourite.
I first heard this on vinyl in the early 1980s and although it didn’t sit well with me at first, it has grown on me over the years.

There are some strong melodies and the album that is instrumental throughout is very interesting indeed. It is certainly something different. The album dates from 1979 and is great on CD.
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on 9 February 2016
Superb record. Beautifully packaged and superb music. Vinyl sounds fantastic.
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on 25 November 2012
I WISH BERT HAD DONE MORE INSTRUMENTAL ALBUMS LIKE THIS. THE LONG TITLE TRACK AVOCET FLOWS ALONG BEAUTIFULLY, COMPRISING VARIOUS TEMPO CHANGES. LOVELY USE OF FLUTE. NICE ALSO TO HEAR BERT PLAY PIANO . HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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