Sanctuary's mammoth triple-disc Pentangle overview poses a bit of a dilemma. First of all, it's called Pentangling, which is already the name of a 1973 compilation, and secondly, while not deliberately misleading, it focuses more attention on the solo careers of John Renbourn and Bert Jansch than it does on the entity that supplies the collection's title. Despite these petty gripes, Pentangling is filled to the brim with some of the finest recordings the British folk movement had to offer, and hearing the group as a whole, followed by an entire disc – one apiece – of two of the genre's most gifted guitarists, is rewarding in more ways than one: both men, as well as the band, released material well into the 21st century, but Pentangling focuses only on their treasured late-'60s/early-'70s output. Listeners looking for a more comprehensive take on Pentangle would be better off with Castle's excellent Light Flight: The Anthology, and Renbourn and Jansch both have lovingly packaged retrospectives that fare better than the ones offered here, but as far as entry points go, Pentangling does more than skim the surface.
Bert Wray Blues brings together slide-guitarist/singer Bert Wray with drummer Mitch Cooper and bassist Dave Wall. The band’s music merges the vintage juke joint sound with plenty of Carolina twang and fresh songwriting. Equally inspired by Delta blues pioneers, rockabilly cats, and 1960’s blues-rockers, the trio hits the sweet spot between classic blues and good ol’ rock and roll. The new album Gut Bucket Radio will be released on March 10, 2017. The recording captures the band's energy and slide blues antics in an 8-song album that takes the listener on a road trip across the blues landscapes of the past like a gut bucket radio blaring into a new century…
Family Constellations, also known as Systemic Constellations and Systemic Family Constellations, is an alternative therapeutic method which draws on elements of family systems therapy, existential phenomenology and Zulu attitudes to family. In a single session, a Family Constellation supposedly attempts to reveal a previously unrecognized systemic dynamic that spans multiple generations in a given family and to resolve the deleterious effects of that dynamic by encouraging the subject to encounter representatives of the past and accept the factual reality of the past.
Living in the Shadows is an apt title for this four-disc box set from Earth Recordings. Its subject, guitarist Bert Jansch, is a certified legend, world-renowned for his groundbreaking early solo records, his membership in Pentangle, and his innovative playing style that stretched the boundaries of various Celtic and European folk musics to embrace improvisational jazz, rock, and Middle Eastern modalism and influenced generations of players.
Vincent Herring is complemented by rising young trumpeter Jeremy Pelt on this enjoyable studio date. "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm" is a standard from the swing era, though the quintet translates it into a hard bop vehicle very well, with the leader throwing in a quick reference to another song ("Kerry Dance") from long ago. Herring is a bit playful in his treatment of the ballad "You Leave Me Breathless," while he handles McCoy Tyner's explosive "Four by Five" with finesse. But most of the session is devoted to originals by the band. Bassist Richie Goods contributed the funky, infectious "Citizen of Zamunda," which showcases the leader on his dancing soprano sax. Pianist Danny Grissert, who evidently made his recording debut with this CD, not only proves himself as a capable soloist, but also penned the exciting "Hopscotch" (marked by its use of stop time) and the tense "Encounters."