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Transfiguration of Hiram Brown

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Album Review

Mostly instrumental, this ingratiating release features outstanding playing by this exceptionally talented yet largely unknown songwriter/singer/pianist. The album begins with the eight-part "Hiram Brown" suite, in which a naïve country boy loses his illusions and optimism in the big city. Five standards complete the album in fine style. "Baby Please Don't Go" and "'Deed I Do" offer Mose's unique, smoky singing at its most touching. This album was released with two others in a delightful 1994 collection called High Jinks.


Born: November 11, 1927 in Tippo, MS

Genre: Jazz

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

Not unlike his namesake, Luther Allison, pianist Mose Allison has suffered from a "categorization problem," given his equally brilliant career. Although his boogie-woogie and bebop-laden piano style is innovative and fresh sounding when it comes to blues and jazz, it is as a songwriter that Allison really shines. 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 include Tom Waits, John Mayall,...
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