Bert Jansch (who died in 2011) was, despite his German surname, a Scottish musician, the descendant of Victorian-era immigrants to that country. He was very well-known in British folk music and guitar circles, both for his extensive solo career and as a member of Pentangle in its various incarnations from the 1960’s until his death. His guitar work is particularly noteworthy, having influenced many of the greats in that field for decades.
Here are just a few samples from his very large output over the years. I’ve concentrated the short pieces on his instrumental works, with one notable exception. His 60th birthday concert is included in full to give an idea of the extent of his range.
First, here’s the instrumental “Kingfisher” from his 1979 album “Avocet“.
Next, he collaborates with John Renbourn, also renowned as a solo musician and a member of Pentangle, for “First Light”.
Here he is with Jacqui Mcshee’s Pentangle, the last iteration of the group of that name, with a very interesting rendition of the traditional folk classic “Scarborough Fair”. It’s one of my favorite versions of the song.
Here’s an interview he gave to Dusty Wright in New York in 2011, shortly before he died. It helps to fill out his background, for those who don’t know him.
And, last but far from least, here’s his 60th birthday concert. The titles of each song are as follows:
01 – Blues run the game
02 – Black waterside
03 – Running from home
04 – Moonshine
05 – Angie
06 – Edge of a dream
07 – Crimson Moon
08 – Bruton Town
09 – Train Song
10 – I’ve got a feeling
11 – It don’t bother me
12 – Fool’s mate
13 – The River Bank
14 – Strolling down the highway
15 – Carnival
Bert Jansch was a folk music treasure, and his death was truly a loss. Fortunately, he’s left us an amazing breadth of recordings to savor.