Mose Allison, the singer/songwriter blues/jazz man from the Mississippi Delta, has reached the age of 82. He's packed into that lifetime some 60 years in the music business and on the road. He's still playing more than 100 club and concert dates a year, from New York to California, across the pond in England and elsewhere.He's recorded steadily during those years, his albums all well received in the jazz community by critics and fans alike. But over the ...read more
Joe Henry's strategy for coaxing Mose Allison back to the studio for the first time in twelve years was simple enough: All he had to do was quietly and thoughtfully stalk the jazz icon for a year.
He kept at it, and kept calling me and emailing and so forth," the 82-year-old Allison said of the courting process by Henry, who received two Grammy nominations this month for his production on Allen Toussaint's The Bright Mississippi and Ramblin' Jack Elliott's ...read more
Nighttown Cleveland Heights, Ohio August 29, 2009
Mose Allison sings for survivors. He always has. He sings easy, buoyant blues in a lackadaisical style. His voice, while rubbed at the edges from more than 50 years on the road, is still crisp with vaudevillian nonchalance. He accompanies himself with confident, insistent piano vamps drawn as much from Wagner as Waller, and his solos are constantly inventive and invigorating while never straying from the familiar. Moreover, ...read more
Working through Prestige Records' reissue of Mose Allison Sings, the challenge arises of describing the pianist/vocalist's unique sound. The salty-sweet taste of butter and jam on toast is at once an unspectacular metaphor and right on the mark. Allison's music is a delicious blend of tart and tang, as enjoyable in the morning as it is a late-night snack, simple yet significant, unassuming and infectious. His style is indelibly his own, residing somewhere between the Delta blues ...read more
There's nobody else quite like Mose Allison. Try to think of a musician who even comes close. He's so unique that we all know from the very start who we're listening to. And nobody else can fill that niche. But Allison didn't start out as a singer. He was Stan Getz's pianist in 1956-57, and he began recording for Prestige as a pianist who also played trumpet in 1957. His piano trio did bebop instrumentals, and Allison added an occasional ...read more
At first glance, Mose Allison Sings might seem to be just another reissued jazz recording from the 1950s. Like most CDs of this ilk, it has been digitally remastered and has additional bonus" tracks now possible without the space limitations of vinyl records.
A cynic might use the term old wine in new bottles" to characterize many of these reissues. There are exceptions, of course, and this album is one. The most compelling reason to reexamine an old album stems ...read more
Through a career spanning a half-century, Mose Allison has been known mostly for his bluesy hipster vocals and comical compositions like Your Mind is on Vacation, But Your Mouth is Working Overtime. But he's also a fine bebop-flavored pianist who even spent time back in the '50s in the rhythm sections of such jazz titans as Stan Getz, Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. The recently reissued Ramblin' with Mose, originally released in 1958, puts Allison's piano front ...read more
Is there any living jazz artist so utterly, comprehensively American as Mose Allison? His melting-pot piano style, which seamlessly combines the sounds of back country and big city; his carefree, everyman way of singing; his sly cynicism -- these are all reflections of the national character, and the basis of his five decades of popularity.Allison put both charm and chops on display for a midweek stint at Yoshi's jazz club in Oakland February 8-10, working in a trio setting. ...read more