Alison Brown: The Song of the Banjo | Album Review

Fri, Oct 9, 2015, 00:00


The Song of the Banjo

Alison Brown

Compass Records

World Music

For an instrument known for its picking, recently we’ve witnessed an unpicking of the banjo – with some notable results.

In 2013 we had the pleasure of The Roots of the Banjo Tree from We Banjo 3, and now, Alison Brown, (a jazz/bluegrass musician who’s done more to lure the banjo out of its comfort zone than almost anyone else) casts a fresh eye over this often underrated instrument.

This is an unashamedly mainstream foray for Brown: known for the mathematical precision of her tune compositions.

With guest vocalists and some surprising covers from Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time to Marvyin Gaye’s What’s Going On), there’s a chance that this collection will find listeners previously out of reach.

The original tunes are where the real treats lurk though, and Musette for the Last Fret is a masterclass in cool lyricism crossed with a baroque sensibility.