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Out of the Blue

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Album Review

It's a long trip down the career path from a top investment banker to a bluegrass banjo picker. But that's the path this very talented lady chose to take. To be honest, she has kind of traveled that path backwards, and more than once. Even before her teens, Alison Brown was winning contests for her skills on the banjo. One of those landed her a chance to perform on The Grand Ole Opry. She even did some recording before heading off to college — to Harvard, no less. After finishing her schooling and spending a couple of years in the corporate world, she turned back to her music. Since then she has recorded a number of solo albums, including this 1998 one, Out of the Blue. Brown has won a number of much-deserved awards since the rebirth of her music career, such as the International Bluegrass Music Association's Banjo Player of the Year Award and even a nomination for a Grammy. The music on this album is bluegrass flavored with a little jazz. Fans won't notice anything untried or bold here from Alison Brown, but there are a number of good songs on this album, including "Mood Ring," "Rebel's Bolero," and "Four for Launch."

Biography

Born: August 7, 1962 in Hartford, CT

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Progressive bluegrass banjoist Alison Brown made her name not only as a virtuosic instrumentalist, but as an accomplished, jazz-influenced composer, a combination that earned plenty of comparisons to Béla Fleck and David Grisman. Brown began playing the banjo before reaching her teens and developed quickly, winning numerous contests and even getting a chance to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. She was also an excellent student, and temporarily left music to attend Harvard University; following graduation,...
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Out of the Blue, Alison Brown Quartet
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