In the spirit of better days to come, GRAMMY-winner Alison Brown is premiering a new video featuring the Alison Brown Quintet performing a mash-up of The Beatles' classic "Here Comes the Sun" and Brazilian composer Tom Jobim's "Águas de Março’" ("Waters of March"). Recorded during our current socially distanced times, Alison and her band — Chris Walters (piano), John Ragusa (flute), Garry West (bass), and Jordan Perlson (drums and percussion) — filmed the recording of the track at Compass Sound Studio (with Ragusa recording remotely in New York City). The track's distinctive banjo sound comes from the Julia Belle "low banjo" designed by Alison in collaboration with Deering Banjos. The video was filmed and edited by Joseph Spence. The track recording will appear on a 2021 release by Alison, yet to be announced.
The video premiered at The Bluegrass Situation, where Alison also shared a playlist and thoughts as a guest columnist, from favorite onstage moments — "Guesting on Brandi Carlile’s collaboration set with the First Ladies of Bluegrass at the Newport Folk Festival last summer with Dolly Parton singing '9 to 5'" — to insights into her career as a musician.
"'Here Comes the Sun’ is a song I’ve loved for years," she says. "But I never thought about playing it on the banjo until I was inspired by stories of hospitals playing it over their PA systems to encourage staff and patients in their battle against COVID. As I started working on it I realized that the tune has a lot in common rhythmically and harmonically with ‘Águas de Março’ (‘Waters of March’), a Tom Jobim classic that’s one of my favorite melodies and recordings. So I put the two together and came up with this mash-up — setting the low banjo against a tapestry of piano and jazz flute.”
Alison is currently working on a follow-up to her 2015 album, SONG OF THE BANJO, and continues her work as a GRAMMY-nominated and IBMA-winning producer, most recently for her work with Special Consensus. She performs both with the Alison Brown Quintet and The First Ladies of Bluegrass. As part of Compass Records' 25th Anniversary Celebration, Brown's GRAMMY-winning album, FAIR WEATHER, was released on vinyl for the first time this year.