Tag Archives: Guitar playing

Bert Jansch’s legacy

 

The guitarists’ guitarist and the songwriters’ songwriter, Bert Jansch (1943–2011) influenced musicians as diverse as Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Paul Simon, Sandy Denny, Nick Drake, Donovan, Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Bernard Butler, Beth Orton, and Laura Marling.

Unassuming, enigmatic, and completely focused on his music until his untimely death, he remained singularly resilient to the vagaries of fashion, being rediscovered and revered by new generations of artists every few years.

Born in Edinburgh, Jansch became an inspirational and pioneering figure during Britain’s folk revival of the 1960s. In 1967 he formed the folk/jazz fusion band Pentangle with John Renbourn and enjoyed international success; when they split in 1973 he returned to his solo career, securing his standing as one of the true originals of British music.

This according to Dazzling stranger: Bert Jansch and the British folk and blues revival by Colin Harper (London: Bloomsbury, 2000, 2nd ed. 2006).

Jansch would have turned 70 today! Below, his classic version of Black waterside.

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Filed under Europe, Popular music

Julian Bream, autodidact

 

As a child, Bream first learned to play the guitar along with his father from “an extraordinary little book, and that was great fun.”

When he was around 11 Boris Perrott, the president of the Philharmonic Society of Guitarists, heard him and, duly impressed, offered to teach him. The boy was honored, but soon found that he disliked the outmoded technique that Perrot insisted on.

Bream stopped the lessons and never took another one; instead, “I watched how Segovia did it and made up my technique as I went along.”

“Actually, I think I must have been quite a little horror because I was very instinctive about things. I only did what I wanted to do. I didn’t care a damn what other people wanted me to do.”

This according to “Julian Bream at 60: An interview” by Gareth Walters (Guitar review 96 [winter 1994] pp. 2–15).

Today is Julian Bream’s 80th birthday! Below, his arrangement of Danza del molinero from Manuel de Falla’s El sombrero de tres picos.

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Filed under Curiosities, Performance practice