Fricke's Picks: Three by Bert Jansch


Of British folk singer-guitarist Bert Jansch's three mid-Seventies albums, reissued by Drag City, 1975's Santa Barbara Honeymoon was fine writing overdressed in L.A.-pop rhinestones, and 1977's A Rare Conundrum featured Jansch's burred voice and fluid picking with a backing that recalled the concentrated intricacies of his earlier band Pentangle. L.A. Turnaround, from 1974, is the best of this trio: a deft stirring of the English folk revival (Jansch revisits his dark Sixties diamond "Needle of Death") and true-grit country rock, produced with spare empathy by Mike Nesmith. The album was not the commercial breakthrough Jansch hoped for, but its earthy beauty remains intact.

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David Fricke

Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke has more than 10,000 albums in his New York apartment. His first record review for the magazine was Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' (RS 290).

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