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L.A. Turnaround [Bonus Tracks]


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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Bert Jansch (vocals, guitar, piano); Jay Lacy, Jesse Ed Davis , Michael Nesmith (guitar); Red Rhodes (steel guitar); Byron Berline (mandolin, violin, fiddle); Michael Cohen (piano, electric piano); Klaus Voormann (electric bass); Danny Lane (drums).
  • Audio Mixers: Danny Thompson ; Michael Nesmith; Peter Mew; Bert Jansch.
  • Audio Remasterers: Peter Mew; Bert Jansch.
  • Audio Remixer: Danny Thompson .
  • Liner Note Author: Mick Houghton.
  • After the demise of Pentangle, Jansch signed with Tony Stratton-Smith's Famous Charisma Label in 1973 and recorded L.A. Turnaround in Sussex and Sepulveda, CA. It was primarily produced by Mike Nesmith (two of the album's original 12 tracks were recorded in Paris by Thompson a year earlier) and released in 1974, the first of three albums Jansch cut for Charisma. The album was hailed at the time as an exemplary work, and its reputation certainly holds in the 21st century. Nesmith quite naturally captured Jansch's expert, idiosyncratic guitar style, and added himself on rhythm guitars and pedal steel guitarist O.J. "Red" Rhodes, who provided a wonderful sense of ballast and earthiness. Other than the two Thompson-produced cuts -- an instrumental called "Chambertin" and a reading of former bandmate John Renbourn's "Lady Nothing" -- the set walks through a lush garden that stands between the traditional English folk that Jansch had mastered and a sort of easy-breathing country-rock. Check the breezy flow of "Open Up the Watergate," with Jesse Ed Davis on acoustic slide guitar, drummer Danny Lane, and bassist Klaus Voormann. Even the moodier "Needle of Death," a duet between Rhodes and Jansch, carries a certain lightness of feeling despite its lyric's darkness. "The Blacksmith" acknowledges quite openly Jansch's debt of influence to Doc Watson, while the lithe rocker "Stone Monkey" features Nesmith in place of Davis; the backroom jamming style accentuates the influence of American players on Jansch as well as his own English traditions. All the while Nesmith, whether with the mobile unit at Stratton-Smith's home or in his own studio in L.A., keeps the proceedings laid-back, flowing, and liquid. This is not to say there aren't more traditional numbers here; the set opener, "Fresh as a Sweet Sunday Morning," with Voormann and Rhodes, and "Of Love and Lullabye" could have been recorded by Pentangle. Simply put, this is one of Jansch's masterpieces, and a singular type of album in his long and storied career. ~ Thom Jurek
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.82) - "[A] deft stirring of the English folk revival and true-grit country rock..."

Uncut - 5 stars out of 5 -- "Throughout, Bert's deep-rooted British balladry meets Nesmith's experiments in avant-country...it's difficult to imagine how anyone could fail to love it."
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