Stolen Moments

Stolen Moments

5.0 1
by Alison Brown
     
 
Gifted, genre-hopping, and endlessly creative, Alison Brown has been endlessly compared to her male equivalent, Béla Fleck. While she shares the same broad view of bluegrass as well as the bottomless pit of talent, her warm, plucky, and distinctly melodic style of banjo playing is far more reminiscent of

Overview

Gifted, genre-hopping, and endlessly creative, Alison Brown has been endlessly compared to her male equivalent, Béla Fleck. While she shares the same broad view of bluegrass as well as the bottomless pit of talent, her warm, plucky, and distinctly melodic style of banjo playing is far more reminiscent of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band legend John McEuen. On Stolen Moments, the Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist dishes up 11 slices of Celtic, jazz, and newgrass that effortlessly blend the rural with the contemporary. Brown may rely on numerous guests this time around (including Sam Bush and Stuart Duncan), but it's longtime collaborator John Burr's piano that she sounds most comfortable around -- the two converse with such fluidity on some of the jazzier numbers that they may as well have combined both instruments into one. Highlights include the Celtic-tinged "Magnificent Seven" and "Carrowkeel" (the latter features some fine low whistle playing from Seamus Egan), a refreshingly earnest cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound" (sung by Indigo Girls' Amy Ray and Emily Saliers), and a smoky rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Angel" (sung by labelmate Beth Nielsen Chapman). However, the most alluring piece appears at the end of Stolen Moments; the self-penned mandolin, conga, and banjo-driven "Musette for a Palindrome" is so unlike anything else on the record that one can only hope that it's merely a teaser for the next. More like this please.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/10/2005
Label:
Compass Records
UPC:
0766397440026
catalogNumber:
974400
Rank:
46850

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alison Brown   Primary Artist,Banjo
Seamus Egan   Low Whistle
Sam Bush   Mandolin
John Burr   Piano
John Doyle   Guitar
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Kenny Malone   Drums
Mike Marshall   Guitar,Mandolin
Amy Ray   Vocals
Emily Saliers   Vocals
Andrea Zonn   Fiddle,Vocal Harmony
Garry West   Bass
Chapman   Vocals
Max E. Pad   Piano

Technical Credits

Alison Brown   Producer,Audio Production
Bill Keith   Composer
Paul Simon   Composer
Jim Rooney   Composer
Boo Hewerdine   Composer
Jimi Hendrix   Composer
Gary West   Audio Production
Erick Jaskowiak   Engineer

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Stolen Moments 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Playing Time – 50:35 -- Individualism in music is a goal for many musicians who enjoy the challenge of pushing their technical skills into realms of innovation and adventure. The impressively virtuosic Alison Brown has a broad base of experience to draw upon. A bit of trivia is that Alison's tune, “Girl’s Breakdown” (from her Grammy-nominated “Fair Weather” album) was used in early 2000 as the official wake up music for the crew of the U.S. Space Shuttle Destiny on their mission to the International Space Station. So what next for someone whose music has reached the depths of outer space? “Stolen Moments” is an astounding display of melodic invention that continues to characterize this one-of-a-kind player. Her expressive musicality incorporates elements of many genres from Celtic (her own “Carrowkeel”) to pop (Jimi Henrix’s “Angel” or Paul Simon’s “Homeward Bound” or Jim Rooney/Bill Keith’s “One Morning in May”). These pop numbers include some superb vocals that make the album whole (courtesy of folks like Amy Ray, Emily Saliers, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Andrea Zonn). Mary Chapin Carpenter also appears. While credits aren’t clear, I assume that she’s one of the four singing “Boomchicks” (Thighdalia, Aureola, Ovaria, and Fallopia) who appear on “Prayer Wheel.” Instrumental new acoustic jazz is well represented in cuts like “The Sound of Summer Running” and “The Magnificent Seven” (written with John Doyle) that has a seven-beat meter in the tune’s head. With the exception of “One Morning in May,” arranged without banjo, the 5-string finds itself laying just right into the greater ensemble mix while piano, bass, guitar, fiddle, drums, and even a little mandolin create the kaleidoscope of sound. Mike Marshall seems right in his element on Brown’s playful “Musette for a Palindrome.” Seamus Egan plays an emotive low whistle on one track, “Carrowkell,” while the similarly Celtic-flavored “(I’m Naked and I’m) Going to Glasgow” includes Solas guitarist John Doyle. John R. Burr gives us some superior, jaw-dropping piano accompaniment that evokes a more smooth jazz sound. As much as I dislike drums in acoustic music, Kenny Malone’s percussion is downright tasty in this particular context. Alison’s husband, Garry West, plays bass. Alison Brown is a confident musician who continues to make creative and courageous statements with her music. She’s a daring stalwart whose proficient and aqueous banjo playing leaves us with pleasurable aural experiences that know few borders. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.)