Playlist: Five From Mose Allison

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Nobody has a cooler sound than Mose Allison. Check out “Parchman Farm” and you’ll understand instantly.

Allison spans several genres but can best be identified as a jazz player. Here is what NPR says about Allison:

The music of pianist, singer, and composer Mose Allison has had an influence well beyond his record sales. Known as “The William Faulkner of Jazz,” Allison has been recording for more than 35 years and few musicians have had greater impact as a stylist or songwriter.

Along with Art Blakey and Horace Silver, Allison helped reintroduce the down-home feel of Southern blues to jazz at a time when the genre was becoming more cerebral. Van Morrison rates Mose as one of the greatest songwriters of our century, and musicians everywhere swap Mose’s lyrics like punch lines to an inside joke. (Continue Reading…) 

Wikipedia provides the biographical details:

Allison was born outside Tippo, Mississippi on his grandfather’s farm, which was known as The Island “because Tippo Bayou encircles it.”[1] He took piano lessons from age five,[2] picked cotton, played piano in grammar school and trumpet in high school,[3] and wrote his first song at age thirteen.[4][5][/column][column size=one_half position=last ]

  1. Don't Get Around Much Anymore 2:48
  2. Parchman Farm 3:19
  3. Seventh Son 2:36
  4. Young Man Blues 1:27
  5. You Call It Joggin'... 2:58
[/column] He went to college at the University of Mississippi for a while, then enlisted in the U.S. Army for two years.[6] Shortly after mustering out, he enrolled at Louisiana State University, from which he was graduated in 1952 with a BA in English with a minor in Philosophy.[7]

In 1956 he moved to New York City and launched his jazz career performing with artists such as Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, and Phil Woods.[3] His debut album, Back Country Suite, was issued on the Prestige label in 1957. He formed his own trio in 1958.

It was not until 1963 that his record label allowed him to release an album entirely of vocals. Entitled Mose Allison Sings, it was a collection of songs that paid tribute to artists of the Mojo Triangle: Sonny Boy Williamson (“Eyesight to the Blind”), Jimmy Rogers (“That’s All Right”) and Willie Dixon (“The Seventh Son”). However, it was an original composition in the album that brought him the most attention – “Parchman Farm”. For more than two decades, “Parchman Farm” was his most requested song. He dropped it from his playlist in the 1980s because some critics felt it was politically incorrect. Allison explained to Nine-O-One Network Magazine: “I don’t do the cotton sack songs much anymore. You go to the Mississippi Delta and there are no cotton sacks. It’s all machines and chemicals.”[8] (Continue Reading…)

(Homepage Image: Michael Wilson)

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