Living in the Shadows is an apt title for this four-disc box set from Earth Recordings. Its subject, guitarist Bert Jansch, is a certified legend, world-renowned for his groundbreaking early solo records, his membership in Pentangle, and his innovative playing style that stretched the boundaries of various Celtic and European folk musics to embrace improvisational jazz, rock, and Middle Eastern modalism and influenced generations of players.
British guitar legend Bert Jansch has done far more constructive work (and certainly less damage) regarding authentic roots music than his fellow countryman Eric Clapton has, but tragically Jansch's works go relatively unnoticed, except for a fraction of the guitar-appreciating populace. Hopefully, Castle Music's anthology Dazzling Stranger can help to change that fact. Forty-two songs spread over two CDs tell the folk guitarist's story in chronological order from his Transatlantic recordings in 1964 through his home recordings in 2000, with an emphasis on his late-'60s and early-'70s works.
Bert Jansch was 60 years old and celebrating the 35th anniversary of his first album when Crimson Moon was released in 2000, and although many critics termed it a comeback set, it was essentially Jansch doing what he has been doing all along, with a few embellishments. Like every other Jansch album, Crimson Moon centers around his amazing acoustic guitar playing and his limited, but disarmingly natural and sincere sounding vocals
From the Outside is the fifteenth album by Scottish folk musician Bert Jansch, released as a limited edition of 500 copies in Belgium in 1985. From The Outside was available in the UK as well, but the label is unknown.
Birthday Blues is the sixth album by Scottish folk rock singer-songwriter Bert Jansch, released in 1969.
Sanctuary's mammoth triple-disc Pentangle overview poses a bit of a dilemma. First of all, it's called Pentangling, which is already the name of a 1973 compilation, and secondly, while not deliberately misleading, it focuses more attention on the solo careers of John Renbourn and Bert Jansch than it does on the entity that supplies the collection's title. Despite these petty gripes, Pentangling is filled to the brim with some of the finest recordings the British folk movement had to offer, and hearing the group as a whole, followed by an entire disc – one apiece – of two of the genre's most gifted guitarists, is rewarding in more ways than one: both men, as well as the band, released material well into the 21st century, but Pentangling focuses only on their treasured late-'60s/early-'70s output. Listeners looking for a more comprehensive take on Pentangle would be better off with Castle's excellent Light Flight: The Anthology, and Renbourn and Jansch both have lovingly packaged retrospectives that fare better than the ones offered here, but as far as entry points go, Pentangling does more than skim the surface.
Bert Jansch was 52 when this CD came out in 1995, and at that point, he was revered as an elder statesman of the British folk community (although the veteran singer/songwriter is actually Scottish, not English). Jansch's brooding, introspective, bluesy style of folk-rock had not grown stale over the years – When The Circus Comes To Town, in fact, is the work of an artist who was having no problem maintaining either his vitality or his charisma. …