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Reviewed by - Matt Rowe

The 5 Browns
Browns in Blue

There’s an air of melancholy that runs through the new 5 Browns tracks, showcased on their new, aptly titled, Browns in Blue.  True melancholy is so difficult to achieve successfully and genuinely that many artists who attempt, might as well have stayed at home.  But for those few that succeed in communicating this emotion through musical notes, usually excel at it.  The 5 Browns, 5 siblings (3 sisters, 2 brothers, All Juilliard-trained graduates), collectively play piano in a way that is unique and challenging, have racked up many accolades over several albums.  On their third release, Browns in Blue, they have created a gem, easily their best.

Not all of the 5 play every track together.  Each of the family get at least one track to themselves, while some of the others are combinations of the 5.  Of course, there are songs that feature them all together, so don’t feel deprived.  “Carnival of the Animals – Aquarium” is a beautiful song played by Desirae and Deondra Brown and highlighted by violin played by Gil Shaham.  The always beautiful and haunting Debussy classic, “Clair de lune from Suite Bergamasque” is elegantly played by the three sisters.

“Home Blues from an American in Paris,” a composition that uses the entire family on piano and the beautiful trumpet of Chris Botti, is the magnificent standout on this album and the perfect closer.  It is a bi-polar piece that moves between the happy and the blue, memorably I might add.

Browns in Blue is perfection personified by 5 pianos and 5 amazing talents in variations.  With classical romanticism, and blue jazz pieces making up the entirety of this album, Browns in Blue add to the ongoing experimentation of styles as interpreted by the 5 Browns in their three albums.  Whatever style they take on next will only serve to further their versatility, making them an attraction for all appreciative ages.

Release Date: October 02, 2007
Produced by: N/A
Format: CD

Track Listing:

18th Variation from Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini / Carnival of the Animals - Aquarium / Retrato de Alfredo Gobbi from History of the Tango / Clair de Lune from Suite Bergamasque / Aunt Hagar's Blues / Romance From Suite No 2, Op17 for Two Pianos / Intermezzo in A Major, Op118, No 2 / Gretchen am Spinnrade / Reflections on Shenandoah / Embraceable You from Seven Virtuoso Etudes / Nocturne in C Minor Op48, No 1 / Fantasia on Dives and Lazarus / Carnival of the Animals - The Swan / Ich Liebe dich, Op 41, No 3 / Home Blues From An American in Paris / Everybody Loves Somebody.

The 5 Browns:

Ryan Brown - Piano
Melody Brown - Piano
Gregory Brown - Piano
Deondra Brown - Piano
Desirae Brown - Piano

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