323

Mose Allison: Mose Allison Sings

Victor Verney By

Sign in to view read count
Mose Allison: Mose Allison Sings 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 from the recognition that there may be much we either have forgotten or did not properly appreciate the first time. Mose Allison Sings reminds us how true that can be.

The legendary Rudy Van Gelder engineered the session and mastered the original LP. However, since the advent of CDs, others have made the masters—until he was given the opportunity. "I remember the sessions well," Van Gelder recounts. "I remember how the musicians wanted it to sound, and I remember their reactions to the playbacks." In this light, it's difficult to argue with his assertion that he is now their authentic "messenger." The warm, full sound quality here is everything one would expect from Van Gelder.

Eminent jazz scholar Ira Gitler adds a few paragraphs to his original liner notes, including the fact that he briefly served as Allison's manager. He points out that Allison started out playing trumpet as well as piano, but stopped when his horn was stolen in Philadelphia. One of the bonus tracks, "Trouble in Mind," displays Allison's trumpet playing, and listeners hearing his soulfully understated horn style for the first time are likely to ask, along with Gitler, why he never replaced it.

While the dry wit of Allison's singing eventually eclipsed his piano skills, he was a bona fide jazz musician who played with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan and Zoot Sims before achieving fame in his own right. Allison effectively absorbed influences from Sonny Williamson to Nat Cole, says Gitler, describing his piano solos as "unspectacular but effective... models of brevity and wit."

Allison's range, and his seemingly effortless ability to balance it, is evident here. Along with his own composition "Parchman Farm," the other tune for which he is best known is Willie Dixon's "The Seventh Son." Both are good examples of his down-home, Delta blues style. Yet he sounds equally comfortable covering the jazz of Duke Ellington, the rhythm and blues of Ray Charles, and the country and western of Jimmy Rogers.

In the confessional style appropriate to the blues, Gitler admits he hasn't listened to much of Allison's recent work but promises to mend his ways "as soon as the opportunity presents itself." He strongly implies we would do well to follow suit.

Track Listing: The Seventh Son; Eyesight to the Blind; Do Nothin' Till You Hear from Me; Lost Mind; I've Got a Right to Cry; Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand; Parchman Farm; If You Live; Don't Get Around Much Anymore; One Room Country Shack; I Hadn't Anyone Till You; Young Man's Blues; That's Alright; Blueberry Hill; Trouble in Mind; Creek Bank.

Personnel: Mose Allison: piano, vocals, trumpet; Addison Farmer: bass (1-9, 11, 13, 15, 16); Ronnie Free: drums (1-3, 5, 8, 13, 16); Nick Stabulas: drums (4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 15); Taylor La Fargue: bass (10, 12, 14); Frank Isola: drums (10, 12, 14).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Prestige Records | Style: Blues


Shop

More Articles

Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Oaktree CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Green With Envy CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Luma CD/LP/Track Review Luma
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 28, 2017
Read My Foolish Heart CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "88" CD/LP/Track Review 88
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Over the Rainbow" CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Open The Curtains" CD/LP/Track Review Open The Curtains
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Dreamland Mechanism" CD/LP/Track Review Dreamland Mechanism
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Reflection" CD/LP/Track Review Reflection
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 14, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!