Best of the Vanguard Years

Best of the Vanguard Years

by Alison BrownAlison Brown


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Sometime back, Alison Brown established herself as an innovative banjo stylist and founded her own record label (Compass). It's easy to forget that she started off playing with another Alison, Alison Krauss that is, and recorded a number of solo albums for Vanguard. Best of the Vanguard Years draws from Brown's four Vanguard albums, recorded in the early to mid-'90s. As with her later recordings, she has composed material that stretches the limits of the banjo and traditional acoustic music: "Cara's Way (The Little People)" resembles an Irish jig, "Mambo Banjo" bossa nova, and "Wolf Moon" straight-ahead bluegrass. She also reveals that she's an accomplished guitarist on "The Inspector" and "Hello Mendocino!" There are differences, however, between Best of the Vanguard Years and her later recordings. Her writing and playing are more muscular and structured on this earlier set, meaning that even jazzy, open-ended pieces like "Deep North" never seem to drift into new acoustic vagueness. Straightforward arrangements of piano, banjo, bass, and drums on "Look Left" give Brown and company a more traditional sound than Bela Fleck & the Flecktones. It should also be noted that Brown surrounds herself with a number of great musicians, including Mike Marshall, Stuart Duncan, and Roy Huskey, Jr. Best of the Vanguard Years offers a 65-plus minute intro to the pre-Compass years, and will please Brown's fans and anyone interested in original banjo music.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/05/2002
Label: Vanguard Records
UPC: 0015707970921
catalogNumber: 79709
Rank: 126841

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alison Brown   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo
Alison Krauss   Fiddle
Scott Nygaard   Acoustic Guitar
Tony Rice   Guitar
Seamus Egan   Penny Whistle,Bodhran,uillean pipes
Sam Bacco   Percussion,cowbell
John Burr   Piano,Keyboards
John Catchings   Cello
Vassar Clements   Fiddle
Joe Craven   Percussion
Alan Dargin   Didjeridu
David Davidson   Violin
Joey Dukes   Drums
Matt Eakle   Flute
David Grisman   Mandolin
David Hoffner   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Roy M. "Junior" Husky   Bass
Mike Marshall   Fiddle,Guitar,Mandolin
Rick Reed   Percussion,Drums
Mark Schatz   Banjo
Kristin Wilkinson   Viola
Jim Kerwin   Bass
Garry West   Bass
Jeff King   Guitar (Electronic)

Technical Credits

Alison Brown   Arranger
John Burr   Arranger
David Grisman   Producer
Mike Marshall   Arranger,Producer
Craig Miller   Executive Producer
Rick Reed   Arranger
Garry West   Arranger,Producer
Georgette Cartwright   Creative Services Coordinator
Jon Weisberger   Liner Notes
Quartet   Arranger

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