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The Way of the World

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It’s a sign of how strange the music world had become when legendary blues and jazz singer Mose Allison recorded his first album in 12 years with singer/songwriter Joe Henry, at the production center, and the album was then released by an alternative label that had become home to many other musical iconoclasts. Allison’s be-bop sensibilities can be heard throughout the staccato piano notes and his own light and airy delivery. The originals include “My Brain,” a rewrite of Willie Dixon’s “My Babe,” the swooning old world feel of “Everybody Thinks You’re an Angel” and “I Know You Didn’t Mean It,” where Allison clinks the piano notes with his unorthodox pounce intact. He phrases to perfection on the bumpy ride of “Let It Come Down” and he interprets Loudon Wainwright III’s “I’m Alright” and Buddy Johnson’s WWII-era “This New Situation” with his own personal authority. The piano instrumental “Crush” is an off-kilter bug-out that turns into a mighty chase at the keyboard.


Born: 11 November 1927 in Tippo, MS

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Not unlike his namesake, Luther Allison, pianist Mose Allison suffered from a "categorization problem," given his equally brilliant career. Although his boogie-woogie and bebop-laden piano style was innovative and fresh-sounding when it came to blues and jazz, it was as a songwriter that Allison really excelled. Allison's songs have been recorded by the Who ("Young Man Blues"), Leon Russell ("I'm Smashed"), and Bonnie Raitt ("Everybody's Cryin' Mercy"). Other admirers have included Tom Waits, John...
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The Way of the World, Mose Allison
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