BERT-JANSCHBert Jansch a major figure in the British folk revival of the 60s and one of the most respected musicians of his time has passed away, dying from cancer at the age of 67.Bert Jansch was a founding member of one of the UK’s most innovative bands Pentangle; he was a truly renowned as a guitarist of virtuoso standard and was sometimes compared to Bob Dylan.

Bert Jansch was born in Glasgow on 3 November 1943, he released 23 solo albums, the last of which was called ‘The Black Swan’, released in 2006 it featured collaborations with Beth Orton and Devendra Banhart. He was awarded two lifetime achievement prizes at the BBC Folk awards – the first in 2001 was for his solo achievements and the second, in 2007, was as a member of Pentangle. The band reformed in 2008. In June 2009, following what was at first a routine visit to the dentist; he discovered he had a golf ball-size tumor on one of his lungs. Following treatment, he went on to co-headline a US tour with Neil Young. Jansch had recently been forced to cancel a live show in Edinburgh due to ill health and was living in a hospice in north London at the time of his death. He influenced many including Jimmy Page, Nick Drake, Graham Coxon, Donovan, Bernard Butler and Paul Simon. According to fellow guitarist Johnny Marr: “He completely reinvented guitar playing and set a standard that is still unequalled today … without Bert Jansch, rock music as it developed in the 60s and 70s would have been very different.”

Neil Young has said “With deep regret Pegi and I acknowledge the passing of Bert Jansch. We were lucky to play with him on all of our shows for the last couple of years. He is a hero of mine, one of my greatest influences. Bert was one of the all-time great acoustic guitarists and singer songwriters. Our sincerest sympathies to his soul mate Loren. We love you Bert.”

What others said about Bert Jansch –

“As much of a great guitar player as Jimi [Hendrix] was, Bert Jansch is the same thing for acoustic guitar…and my favourite”  Neil Young

“At one point, I was absolutely obsessed with Bert Jansch. When I first heard that LP [1965], I couldn’t believe it. It was so far ahead of what everyone else was doing. No one in America could touch that”  Jimmy Page

“He revolutionized the guitar…I don’t think anybody has ever been revered as much as he is”    Dick Gaughan

“If you didn’t know he was a guitar hero to many – including Jimmy Page and Keith Richards – your ears might tell you”  –   THE EVENING STANDARD

Robin Denselow wrote: “Bert Jansch was that rarity, a musician who really did deserve to be regarded as a legend, and who retained that status throughout his career. He was an extraordinary guitarist and a thoughtful songwriter, and generations of would-be pickers sat at his concerts watching his finger-work with envy and astonishment.”

Bert (Herbert) Jansch, guitarist, was born 3 November 1943 and died 5 October 2011

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