Bert Jansch, RIP

BERT JANSCH, the renowned acoustic guitarist, songwriter and stylistic innovator, died of lung cancer Wednesday at a London hospital. He was 67. A member of the groundbreaking Pentangle, which brought together traditional British folk music, American jazz and blues, Jansch was a favorite of Jimmy Page, Paul Simon, Pete Townshend, Donovan, The Smiths' Johnny Marr and Neil Young, with whom the Englishman had toured the U.S. in recent years. “That first record of his is epic,” Young said in 1992 of Jansch’s 1965 self-titled debut. “I was especially taken by ‘Needle of Death,’ such a beautiful and angry song.” Said his contemporary Richard Thompson, “He could take the blues and jazz and traditional British folk music and blend those together into a style. I think that was the main influence of his playing. He was also a great songwriter.” Read longtime L.A. Times critic Richard Cromelin’s obit here. (10/6a)