Thursday, October 20, 2011
Belated Vale Bert Jansch
While we were all mourning the passing of Steve Jobs, not as many of us noticed that there had been another sad loss to the world on the same day - Bert Jansch, that wonderful guitarist and singer whom I first heard with the British folk-rock group Pentangle when I started university. I remember walking into the Monash University bookshop one day to hear the Pentangle album Basket Of Light, and was immediately captivated. I was starting to discover that there were folk musicians other than Peter, Paul and Mary and other groups of the sixties - the kind of music you could sit with your friends and sing to the guitar. Basket of Light had all the traditional stuff, but a style I hadn't heard and wanted to hear more of.
For my brother, Maurice, he was one of the great guitarists of the century, and he was certainly that. But I tend to notice voices as well and his was a distinctive one which sent pleasant chills down my spine.
He only spent about four years with Pentangle before they broke up, but he was a founding member and then played with them again when they re-formed, as well as years as a soloist and with other artists.
Still - I am going to unearth my Pentangle albums and listen once more to that wonderful sound that filled my university years and later.
Farewell, Bert, and thanks for all the joy you gave me.