Sunday, 1 March 2009

Sunday Night is.. Bert Jansch and Blackwaterside

I owned LPs by Bert Jansch and by Bert Jansch with John Renbourn. They recorded a lovely version of Charlie Mingus's 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' together. In the late sixties and early seventies you could catch Jansch at a cafe called Bunjie's near Piccadilly Circus. The lovely A, with whom I went out but once, was a fan. Jansch and Renbourn joined Pentangle, and so it went on into Fairport Convention and beyond.

Like everyone else then I was playing the guitar, acoustic, finger-picking and Jansch was a possible model. That voice too seemed within range. Nothing much but solidly itself, undramatic, not too pretty, sitting up against the intricate guitar work like a block of wood floating on a stream.

And, while on Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, this is too good not to post. So a double bill. Joni Mitchell, Michael Brecker, Pat Metheny and Jaco Pastorius. She is damn good at this.


Colin Will said...

Excellent George. I've always thought of the tune as being particularly poignant, and Joni does it justice.

I'm wondering if the London Bunjie's is related to the Edinburgh Bunjie's of 1961/1962. I played there a couple of times.

George S said...

Fancy you playing at Bunjie's, Colin! I didn't know there was an Edinburgh branch. Jansch is Scottish isn't he, so might he have started there. I only went to the London version twice. I should have gone more often.

I came across the Joni Mitchell version by chance and was very impressed. I had always thought of her voice as slightly sharp and frail, but she has a bit of belly here too and the phrasing is lovely.

Gorgeous tune. I love the original Mingus version, of course, but you don't get it quite straight enough on YouTube. Not that I've found anyway. Nice versions all including one with Gery Mulligan, another by John McLaughlin, but not the original poignant straightforward thing.