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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
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...
Published on 22 Dec 2003 by Burvs

versus
2 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Really not what I was hoping for
An instumental Bert Jansch album fantastic!!!!! And out of print for so long too. I was pretty excited when this CD came out. But desperatley disappionted when I heard it. Its pretty lame to my ears. Shame.
Published on 19 May 2004


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 22 Dec 2003
This review is from: Avocet (Audio CD)
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Return, 6 Nov 2003
By 
L. N. Nixon "nlnxn" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Avocet (Audio CD)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine attempt, 27 Mar 2008
This review is from: Avocet (Audio CD)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avocet: Bert Jansch – Soaring flight of musicianship, 13 Sep 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Avocet (Audio CD)
First released in 1979, this is te twelfth solos album from the inestimable Bert Jansch. It has been said that it was his favourite, and I would guess that it also the favourite of many of his fans.

By the time this was recorded Jansch already had an impressive body of work behind him, from the folk rock of his Pentangle albums, his blues influenced early solo work and his more recent West coast influenced material. It was all invariably excellent stuff, but this album, for me, stands head and shoulders above the rest.

For the first time this is a solely instrumental album, concentrating on Jansch’s celebrated guitar work, uninhibited and undistracted by vocalisations. There are six tracks, each named after a sea or wading bird. Each track is a musical vignette that suits the temperament and personality of each bird to a tee. The masterpiece is the 17 minute opening track, Avocet. It’s a work of genius, never descending into mindless guitar twiddling (a la the contemporary prog genre) but with a clear musical vision and sense of purpose. Complex and enthralling music gushes forth from Jansch’s guitar, falling from the strings like a waterfall, with eddying currents that swirl along, taking you up and carrying down a musical river, depositing you refreshed and enlightened on the far bank.

People often characterise this, and Jansch, as purely folk, but the album and the artist are so much more than that. Yes, it has it’s roots in British folk, but there is a lot more mixed in to make up a musical smorgasbord of styles. I can’t even begin to comprehend how difficult this stuff must have been to play, it’s a real tour de force.

There were three people involved in the recording, Jansch on guitar and piano, Danny Thompson on bass and Martin Jenkins on the wonderfully named mandocello, flute and violin. It’s Jansch’s show, but the other two do a marvellous job of supporting him, and all three work together well, knowing instinctively what is required at any given moment. There is not a note out of place, I think that this is a perfect recording.

This release is pretty plain with a decent mastering that gives good clarity. There is no bonus material as with the re-releases of Jansch’s Charisma albums. No problems though, this is a masterpiece that needs no embellishment. 5 stars unreservedly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray! At last!, 20 Jan 2009
By 
Mrs. PJ Taylor (Reading UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Avocet (Audio CD)
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A High Point in a Career of High Points, 21 Mar 2005
This review is from: Avocet (Audio CD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A LOVELY ALBUM, 25 Nov 2012
By 
Mr. Aa James - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Avocet (Audio CD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 8 Feb 2010
By 
T. Evans (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Avocet (Audio CD)
I love this. Discovered the album on Spotify, brought on Amazon.
The music is great and the recording is perfect.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Guitar Man, 12 Nov 2007
By 
doublegone (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Avocet (Audio CD)
I got hold of this rather fabulous record after reading "Guitar Man" by Will Hodgkinson. The book is about Will's quest to learn to play guitar. He meets Bert, and the discription of this album I found irresistable. It didn't disappoint. Beautiful, smart, original music. Those who have heard Pentangle will recognise Bert's biting acoustic style. And of course Danny Thomspon is here on bass (as he was in Pentangle and oh so much other great stuff like John Martyn's Solid Air, and Nick Drake albums). Well worth checking out.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not My Cup of Tea., 29 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Avocet (Audio CD)
I heard a track off this Album which I liked and Bert used to play with Pentangle who had some success in the charts. I bought it on the strength of that but as I am a rock fan this was a little too tame for me. If you are a folk fan this is one of his best albums but sadly not for me
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