Bert Jansch – Avocet


First  issued  over  25  years  ago,  and  now  remastered  from  original tapes, Avocet is a concept piece that is often cited by fans as a favourite.

Avocet begins with 18-minute-long title track, inspired by traditional song ‘The Cuckoo’. The five following compositions, also named after birds, are rich instrumental tapestries rooted in traditional folk and folk rock.

Recorded in February 1978 at Sweet Silence Studios, Copenhagen, Denmark, it was released the  following  year  via  Charisma  and  features  ex-Pentangle bandmate  Danny  Thompson alongside the  late Martin  Jenkins. Whether  it’s  the blues  and rock tones  on  ‘Bittern’ which speaks of Arthur Russell’s more experimental pieces or the dirge-like waltz of ‘Lapwing’ that wouldn’t  be  out  of  place  on  a  Nils  Frahm  album, Avocet sees Bert writing  with  a  sense  of freedom, moving between guitar and piano, and feels particularly personal.

The subject of birds is one that Bert held close to his heart. Prior to this album was a split 7” single with Shirley Collins ‘Black Birds Of Brittany’, proceeds of which went to the RSPB. The sleeve notes come from Jansch aficionado Colin Harper the author of ‘Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British Folk and Blues revival’.

Track list:

  1. Avocet
  2. Lapwing
  3. Bittern
  4. Kingfisher
  5. Osprey
  6. Kittiwake
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