Capturing a dynamic ensemble on disc is a tricky business--the studio often engenders nitpicky cautiousness, while recording a live show compromises the sound, especially with acoustic music. On Replay
, the genre-bending quartet led by banjo master Alison Brown finds a nice alternative approach, revisiting songs from her six previous albums in two days of informal live-in-the-studio performances. The result is a crisp-sounding and loose-limbed set that showcases both the range of Brown's compositions--from swing to Latin jazz to newgrass to chamber pop--and the fluency of the band (John R. Burr on piano, Garry West on bass, and Kendrick Freeman on drums). Along with her fleet, filigreed banjo picking, Brown delivers some hot guitar tracks, playing slinky jazz solos on "Daytime TV" and "The Inspector" and bringing the CD to a sweetly lyrical close on "The Promise of Spring." --Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers
A collection of Alison's most popular tunes plus two never before recorded tunes. With liner notes by Parke Puterbaugh (former associate editor of Rolling Stone Magazine).