Alison Brown,
Stolen Moments
(Compass, 2005)

Opening Stolen Moments with her own composition, "The Sound of Summer Running," Alison Brown sets a pace and tone that is hard to better. Her unique banjo style is ably assisted with fiddle, piano, guitar, bass and drum on a wonderful instrumental piece.

She follows this with a co-written piece called "The Magnificent Seven" -- nothing at all to do with the western movie. She also intersperses some vocal items from band members that give marvelous versions of some well-known songs, like Paul Simon's "Homeward Bound" and Jimi Hendrix's "Angel." The interpretations are fresh and captivating with that banjo lurking in the background, giving each that special sound.

Alison wrote or co-wrote each of the instrumental items on offer and they show both knowledge of the canon of good music and an ear for the innovative. With 11 tracks, the banjo lover will be enthralled and others converted.

by Nicky Rossiter
17 December 2005

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