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The treasure that was Bert Jansch,
This review is from: A Rare Conundrum (Audio CD)
Bert sounds unusually happy on this reissue of a 1977 record, his third and last for the Charisma label (which begs the question of why any label would let such a rare find go at all).
These songs are mostly Jansch originals and remind me, in their melodic generosity and variety, of a later and favourite album of mine, When The Circus Comes To Town.
He`s joined on some tracks by bassist Rod Clements, percussionist Pick Withers, Mike Piggott on violin, and even, on the Flann O`Brien-inspired Poor Mouth, folk veteran Ralph McTell on harmonica.
This reissue, in excellent sound, comes with an eight-page booklet, with notes and full track listings.
Bert Jansch shouldn`t be dead, it just doesn`t seem right. That bitter-sweet voice, both world-weary and wry, capable of warmth and humour, and his immaculate guitar playing... Thankfully we now have his life`s work on disc, and it`s a surprise to me to realise just how many albums he made in his career. There`s a lot, and I`m enjoying collecting them. I haven`t been disappointed with any of them either, even his late collaborations with younger talents.
This has three very welcome extra tracks, the first of which is a typically fine, memorable song by Bert called Three Dreamers. There was ever something dreamy and almost ethereal about his voice. Soulful too.
The whole thing ends with a `tropical` version of the trad song Candyman, and very tasty it is.
This is Bert Jansch - unlikely national treasure - at his most open-hearted, in a collection of songs as enjoyable and eclectic as anything he recorded.