Pentangle: Reunions, Live & BBC Sessions 1982-2011 Box Set Review

Pentangle: Reunions, Live & BBC Sessions 1982-2011 – A Musical Journey Through Time
Pentangle, a band synonymous with the fusion of folk, jazz, and an unmistakable virtuosity, has been put together in a new 4CD box set titled “Pentangle: Reunions, Live & BBC Sessions 1982-2011.” Released by Cherry Tree Records, a part of Cherry Red Records, this collection is an essential addition to the Pentangle discography, offering a rare glimpse into the band’s reunion years.

The first disc of the set contains previously unreleased recordings from the BBC archives. It features six songs from Pentangle’s first reunion at The Cambridge Folk Festival in 1982, a testament to their timeless appeal. The disc also includes a rendition of ‘Bruton Town’ from their 2011 return to the festival, alongside sessions from BBC TV shows like Six Fifty-Five Special and Later With Jools Holland, and the 2007 Radio 2 Folk Awards. This disc alone makes the set a must-have for fans and newcomers alike.

Disc 2 is a journey back to Pentangle’s 1982 Italian tour, with 18 previously unreleased recordings from performances in Thiene and Milan. These tracks showcase the band’s live prowess and the magical synergy between Bert Jansch (vocals/guitar), Jacqui McShee (vocals), John Renbourn (vocals/guitar), and Danny Thompson (double bass). The absence of drummer Terry Cox due to injury on these recordings adds a unique dimension to the band’s sound.

The last two discs of the set comprise ‘Finale: An Evening With Pentangle,’ the band’s final double album. Originally released by Topic Records in 2016, it features performances cherry-picked from their 2008 UK tour. This album not only captures the essence of Pentangle’s live performances but also serves as a fitting swansong to their illustrious career.

Accompanying the CDs is a meticulously researched booklet, filled with detailed track information, rare photographs, and background stories. It provides an in-depth look at how the band came back together and the context behind each recording. This booklet is a valuable resource for fans, offering insights into the band’s journey during their reunion years.

For fans of Pentangle, this box set is an essential piece of musical history. It not only chronicles the band’s reunion years but also serves as a testament to their enduring influence in the world of folk and jazz fusion. The set’s meticulous curation and the inclusion of previously unreleased material make it a valuable addition to any music collection.

Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine

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