210

Mose Allison: The Mose Chronicles - Live In London, Vol. 1

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
With fifty-plus years of performance behind him, the 73 year-old Mose Allison continues to perform 125 shows per year. The Mississippi-born pianist traveled to New York in 1951, but his music has never left the Delta. His brand of blues-inflected jazz was first inspired by Louis Jordan and his piano trio has been heavily influenced by Nat Cole. Like Cole, he began as an instrumentalist but his unique vocals and lyrics created a demand for his vocal appearances. Modern pop musicians like Pete Townshend, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, and Eric Clapton have covered Allison’s songs. His discography is lengthy, and jumping into Mose Allison anywhere from his early Prestige disc to his Columbia and Atlantic days yields satisfying results. A good overview is a 1994 Rhino Record compilation Allison Wonderland. Since 1987 he has been a Blue Note Artist recording his sounds in groups usually extended by guest artists. 1998’s Gimcracks And Gewgaws was a gem of a studio date with drummer Paul Motian, saxophonist Mark Shim, and guitarist Russell Malone.

Allison’s latest offering is a live date with his regular working band. Taken from three nights of a three-week gig at London’s Pizza Express, he sprinkles his favorite tunes in between blues and jazz favorites. Like a true bluesman, his mature lyrics reveal the human condition. In “Gettin’ There,” he signals hope yet reality as in “If I was selling fantasies, I’d be a millionaire...But I’m not disillusioned, but I’m gettin’ there.” In the modern pop-music world filled with puberty-angst and gangster posing, Allison speaks to those of us who have emotionally graduated from high school. He writes, “Everybody’s cryn’ justice, just-as long as it’s business first.” Like a modern Mark Twain, Allison’s astute observations are delivered from his very-ironic heart. The trio takes on “You Are My Sunshine” as a slow blues piece, revealing a sarcastic side I never knew this elementary-school or senior-citizen home favorite contained. But then, an Allison record is more than just a turn of a phrase. The disc opens with an instrumental and throughout this date he displays his talented blues-drenched piano like his Delta-honed vocals; his piano stylings show Allison’s unique vision of or world that has absorbed boogie-woogie, bebop and classical influences.


Title: The Mose Chronicles - Live In London, Vol. 1 | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Proverbe" CD/LP/Track Review Proverbe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "Parking Lot Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review Parking Lot Symphony
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Through The Hours" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Hours
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "A Beautiful Story" CD/LP/Track Review A Beautiful Story
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley" CD/LP/Track Review And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.