Formed in 1967, Pentangle was inspired by Bert And John, a collaborative album by folk guitarists Bert Jansch (b. 3 November 1943, Glasgow, Scotland) and John Renbourn (b. 8 August 1944, Marylebone, London, England). Vocalist Jacqui McShee (b. Jacqueline McShee, 25 December 1943, Catford, South London, England) an established figure on the traditional circuit, joined Danny Thompson (b. Daniel Henry Edward Thompson, 4 April 1939, Teignmouth, Devon, England; bass) and Terry Cox (b. Terence William Harvey Cox, 13 March 1937, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England; drums), both of Alexis Korner‘s Blues Incorporated, in a quintet which also embraced blues and jazz forms.
Their respective talents were expertly captured on The Pentangle (1968), where the delicate acoustic interplay between Jansch and Renbourn was brilliantly underscored by Thompson and Cox’s sympathetic support and McShee’s soaring intonation. Stylish original material balanced songs pulled from folk’s heritage (“Let No Man Steal Your Thyme”, “Bruton Town”), while the inclusion of the Staple Singers‘ “Hear My Call” confirmed the band’s eclecticism. This feature was expanded on the double-set Sweet Child, which included two compositions by jazz bass player Charles Mingus, “Haitian Fight Song” and “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”. Pentangle enjoyed considerable commercial success with Basket Of Light, which included “Light Flight”, the theme song to the UK television series, Take Three Girls. However, despite an undoubted dexterity and the introduction of muted electric instruments, subsequent releases were marred by a sense of sterility, and lacked the passion of concurrent releases undertaken by the two guitarists.
Pentangle to play live Summer 2011!
After a succesfful UK tour in 2008, i’m happy to announce that Pentangle will be playing live again this summer. We’re playing the accoustic stage at Glastonbury on Saturday 25th June, Cambridge Folk Festival on 30th July and the Royal Festival Hall on August 1st.