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.
Originally released in 1970, this was the fourth release from the British folk-rock group Pentangle and may qualify as their swan song. With only five songs, Jacqui McShee, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Terry Cox, and Danny Thompson create a dense, layered sound that is woven within the fabric of each song like a tapestry…
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
'Basket of Light' is the third Pentangle record and their masterpice. The band had developped a good equlibrium between traditional folk songs and band compositions in their typical Jazz-Folk-Blues style. The album opener 'Light Flight', which has become their signature song, is a band composition based on a tricky rhythm track(alternating 5/8, 7/8, 6/4) over which Jacqui Mc Shee lays her lead and overdubbed vocals.
Solomon's Seal was an album recorded in 1972 by folk-rock band Pentangle. It was the last album recorded by the original line-up, before the band split in 1973. Jacqui McShee has stated that it is her favourite Pentangle album. The album title refers to the Seal of Solomon - a mythical signet ring with magical powers, sometimes associated with the pentagram symbol adopted by Pentangle.
Remastered reissue of the British folk-rock act's 1968 debut album. Divided between traditional and original material, highlights included their arrangement of 'Bruton Town' and the seven-minute instrumental laden 'Pentangling'. This CD also features 7 bonus tracks 'Koan' (alt. version), 'The Wheel' (alt. version), 'The Casbah' (alt. Version), 'Bruton Town' (edit 1/5/3), 'Hear My Call' (alt. Version), 'Way Behind The Sun' (alt version) & 'Way Behind The Sun' (Instrumental).
Pentangle were always great at creating musical fusions, and on this album, they once again came through. The opening song, "Wedding Dress," is a fabulous meeting of Celtic, country, and, believe it or not, funk. It's one of the few songs of theirs that actually rocks. The rest of the record is classic Pentangle, with Bert Jansch's and John Renbourn's acoustic guitars intermingling so well that it would make even Neil Young and Stephen Stills a little envious. Jacqui McShee, as usual, has some exquisite vocal moments, namely the previously mentioned "Wedding Dress" and an excellent reading of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." This track shows how the group was further exploring new musical ground, this time with traditional American folk/gospel. The group's rhythm section of Danny Thompson (upright bass/cello) and Terry Cox (percussion) – easily one of the most inventive on the planet – shines on every cut, creating solid ground for Renbourn, McShee, and Jansch to do their high-wire act on vocals and guitar. One of their finest all-around albums.
Sweet Child, released in 1968, at the peak of Pentangle's career, is probably the most representative of their work. A sprawling two-record set, half recorded in the studio and half live at the Royal Festival Hall, showcases just how versatile Pentangle was in their unique brand of English folk, jazz, Celtic, blues, and pop styles. Some of the live covers are easily their finest performances. Furry Lewis' "Turn Your Money Green," sung by the delightful Jacqui McShee, swings sweetly, buttressed of course by John Renbourn and Bert Jansch's guitar tapestry. Charlie Mingus' "Haitian Flight Song" features a great solo by bassist Danny Thompson, who was easily one of the finest musicians to grace the instrument. The studio tracks are uniformly excellent as well, especially "The Time Has Come," which turns waltz time inside out. McShee, Renbourn, and Jansch all turn in career performances on this track. But these examples merely scratch the surface of Pentangle's peak. In all, Sweet Child is an awesome and delightful collection, and probably their finest hour.
This two-CD set reissues the 1993 studio album One More Road on the first disc and the 1994 live release Live 1994 on the second, serving as a thorough document of Pentangle's concert and studio activities during this period. It wasn't, of course, one of the more celebrated periods of Pentangle's career, as only singer Jacqui McShee and guitarist Bert Jansch remained from the original late-'60s/early-'70s quintet, which was by far the most popular and creative of the band's lineups. Yet while One More Road isn't a record you would group with the best of the original Pentangle's efforts, it was pretty respectable on its own terms.