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Artist: Alison Brown Quartet 
Label: Compass Records
Length: 15/51:25

Bluegrass meets jazz on Replay, the latest from the Alison Brown Quartet.  The ABQ is laid back and relaxed on these fifteen tracks, mixing in some swing and bebop with the traditional bluegrass banjo and guitar sounds.  "Red Balloon" opens the CD in the mode of the Vince Guaraldi Trio, with some nice piano work by John Burr.  "Daytime TV" is in the same vein.

"Lorelei" is more of a bluegrass style number, recalling the days of Buck Owens.  "Late on Arrival" is a fast-paced, almost frantic tune that seems to portray a person who is just that ­ running late.  Kendrick Freeman's drums stand out on this song. 

"My Favorite Martian" and "Chicken Road" are lighter tracks, done somewhat in the style of Jim Brickman.  "The Wonderful Sea Voyage" has an Irish flavor, while "Without Anastasia" manages to make the banjo sound Russian.  "Shoot the Dog" is a banjo/piano dominated song that creates a mental picture, perhaps that of a dog being chased after having stolen food.  "Mambo Banjo" is another piano/banjo instrumental with a Latin-flavored drum part.

"Etoufee Brutus?" combines bluegrass with New Orleans jazz ­ imagine Leon Redbone's band combined with Flatt & Scruggs, and you have the idea.

Replay mixes and matches various genres, with Brown's banjo and guitar work featured throughout.  Another enjoyable listen from the founder of Compass Records.

Brian A. Smith  2/24/2002



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