In 1973, shortly after the breakup of the legendary Pentangle, co-lead guitarist John Renbourn recorded a full album's worth of songs for a solo project. He abandoned the set, instead releasing an entirely different collection of songs as THE HERMIT later that year. The abandoned songs, previously available only via underground tape-trading networks, surfaced several years later as THE LOST SESSIONS.
John Renbourn - The Lady And The Unicorn (1970). The Lady and the Unicorn is the 1970 solo album by British folk musician John Renbourn. Featuring Terry Cox playing hand drums and glockenspiel, with future John Renbourn band member Tony Roberts and violinist Dave Swarbrick. The repertory consists of medieval and early classical pieces, interspersed with the expected folk material - keyboard works from the Fitzwilliam virginal book (transcribed for guitar) stand alongside traditional tunes such as "Scarborough Fair," which turns up as part of an 11-minute track that also incorporates "My Johnny Was a Shoemaker," with Swarbrick at the top of his form on violin. The album is entirely instrumental, but as with other Renbourn releases, one hardly misses the vocals…
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.
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
When the network did not exist and at the time of purchase music, I often faced sealed LPs, without oportunity able to listen them. How to choose and buy without a mistake?
Well, in my case I always depended on my instincts. Sometimes a simple but attractive cover was the final choice (evidently based on artists I knew). An excellent example is this double LP of “The John Renbourn Group”, knew about John Renbourn next to Jacqui McShee (Both from Pentangle).
This 37-track, two-disc set is the most comprehensive compilation of John Renbourn's recording career to date. In one sense, Renbourn can be defined as a traditional British folk guitarist, but within that category, he has managed a wide variety of different recording projects over 40 years. There are the solo guitar albums, of course, but then there are also duo albums with Bert Jansch and Stefan Grossman; Renbourn's major group affiliation with Pentangle; his own band projects, the John Renbourn Group and John Renbourn's Ship of Fools, and even prominent work as a sideman for other artists.
John Renbourn's 2011 album Palermo Snow, his first new studio recording in 13 years, finds the veteran British guitarist turning in a varied set of acoustic guitar instrumentals that go well beyond the simple designation "folk." Renbourn is joined on some tracks by clarinetist Dick Lee, who first appears several minutes into the seven-minute title tune, a Renbourn original full of textured chording and careful fingerpicking.
An unusually enchanting album, even for John Renbourn; The Enchanted Garden is a follow-up to the John Renbourn Group's 1977 A Maid in Bedlam, devoted to medieval and Renaissance dance and classical music, as well as folk material and Indian ragas…
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive folk music
Renbourn's last solo album for the next six years overlaps with his Pentangle work, featuring Terry Cox playing hand drums and glockenspiel, with future John Renbourn band member Tony Roberts and violinist Dave Swarbrick.
The Jazz Tinge DVD presents five exciting and challenging jazz compositions that each receive John Renbourn's unique fingerstyle approach. The compositions of Randy Weston, Chico Hamilton and Dollar Brand, plus John's own original instrumentals, are discussed in detail. Titles include: Buffalo, Transfusion, My Dear Boy, Little Niles and Cherry.