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L.A. Turnaround [VINYL]

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Vinyl (7 Dec. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Drag City
  • ASIN: B002QH0RV2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 527,151 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I won't comment critically on the album - if you like Bert then you will love it, and be thankful that it has finally seen the light of (the digital) day.

However, as is unfortunately the case with most remasters and reissues nowadays, the original source work has been altered for its second coming. The opening track (unarguably one of the best on the album, and one of Bert's all-time greats) 'Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning' has been edited. On this remaster you are not able to sample what music biographer Colin Harper describes [in his book DAZZLING STRANGER: BERT JANSCH AND THE BRITISH FOLK AND BLUES REVIVAL] as 'pastoral ambience exquisitely captured' since the opening 10 seconds (!) have been deleted. So gone is the remote chirping of birds as Bert recorded this track out in the country garden that morning.

'Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning' in its orginal form is a special track and a significant part of this is the that special scene-setting introduction made by nature itself; when you throw in the story behind its recording - for this do check out Harper's great book - it becomes all the more significant and hence all the more disappointing to hear that it has been axed for this remastered reissue.

However, I am not going to bother to surmise here why this has happend, on whether it was a technical or authorial decision - this of course would be pointless.

But if you do want to hear the original version on CD then I can point you to the Jansch anthology DAZZLING STRANGER, as it is the opening track on the 2nd disc of that excellent compilation. Ironically this was curated well before the recent re-issues, and done so well by Mr Harper again.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It comes as an amazement to me that I haven't got into the music of Bert Jansch until recently. I am a huge fan of the folk rock movement (from both sides of the Atlantic) of the late sixties from which he emerged promethean like, I really should have heard his solo music sooner. I really regret not having the chance to see him performing live. His skill with guitar and the beautiful music he made put him head and shoulders above the likes of Dylan, Paul Simon or Fairport Convention.

Anyway, enough rambling, down to the album in hand. This is the 2009 Virgin reissue of a 1974 album recorded for the `Famous Charisma Label' (to quote the label on the disc). It was his ninth solo album, and released in the year following the break up of Pentangle. Produced by ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith, it sounds like a very personal album, somewhat removed from the material he was making a year previously with Renbourne, McShee and co in Pentangle.

It is, to put it simply, beautiful. Melodies and tunes ripple and flow from Jansch's guitar like water in a stream. You get washed along in the eddies and currents of the music, and as soon as the CD ends you feel washed up on the shore and have no option but to press play again and dive right back in.

Rooted in British folk, there is a flavour of West Coast Americana in this album, introduced no doubt by Nesmith, who as well as producing also play on a few tracks. There are distinctly Hippie flower power overtones and rhythms, along with some Country stylings. These are blended by Jansch with consummate ease to make a record of gentle beauty. It's gentle, with a slight jaunty air, and perfect music for relaxing to.

Jansch wasn't the greatest of singers, but always seems to have chosen or written material suited to his voice.
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Format: Audio CD
One of those artists whose name has often cropped up when I ,ve been reading about music I must confess to knowing absolutely zilch about Bert Jansch prior to buying this CD copy of his 1974 album L.A.Turnaround which was recorded soon after the final demise of his band Pentangle in 1973.Recorded in both Paris and Los Angeles though many of the tracks were "Laid Down " in amongst the English countryside at the home of Tony Stratton Smith whose "Famous Charisma " label he had signed for the album was produced by former Monkee Michael Nesmith,along with Danny Thompson.
The influence of Nesbitt ,considered by many to be the godfather of country rock is evident in the music's embracing of American influences. The steel guitar of Red Rhodes , the fiddle and mandolin of Byron Berline and the guitar work of the late Jesse Ed Davis all makes this especially palpable. Beatle cohort Klaus Voorman plays bass ,Danny Lane drums and there is some flashy electric piano from Michael Cohen.
Considered to be a classic folk album L.A.Turnaround has long been unavailable on CD and comes with four bonus tracks and a thirteen minute ECD shot in cinema verite style and showcasing Bert recording four songs from the albums sessions.
Yet to be honest I found the album a little dull and one dimensional on first listen .However this is often the case with truly great albums and further forays into it's delights with ears fully attentive proved there here is an album full of bucolic charms, breezy but brilliant musicianship and a series of seamlessly arranged laid back songs that take sudden and delightful little forays into jazz ( the piano on "The Blacksmith " , especially the alternate version ) ."Stone Monkey "even adds a touch of funk into the bass line and percussion .
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