In concert: Mose Allison at Blues Alley
By Mike Joyce
At Blues Alley on Thursday night, Mose Allison didn't perform tunes from "The Way Of The World," a widely acclaimed CD released in the spring. Still, the audience was delighted with what he had to offer. The 82-year-old tunesmith and pianist devoted his trio's opening set to songs that have long been part of his singular and sardonic repertoire, some self-penned, others slyly adapted.
The original compositions included two tunes that sum up Allison's lacerating view of contemporary society as well any: "Ever Since The World Ended" and "Monsters Of The Id." No one can accuse Allison of ranting, however: he's too droll and crafty for that. During this show, his southern charm and wit was also reflected in songs composed by John D. Loudermilk and other kindred spirits.
Over a half century ago, Allison lived in New York and shared engagements with Thelonious Monk and numerous be-boppers. Yet his Mississippi roots remains as evident as his modern jazz influences. Like a lot of country blues musicians, he has an elastic sense of time that accommodates his distinctive way of phrasing a lyric. It took less than a minute for him to personalize "Stranger In My Own Hometown," a Percy Mayfield tune later recorded by Elvis Presley, and he pulled off the same trick when revisiting Willie Dixon's "I Love The Life I Live."
Adroitly accompanying Allison were two longtime collaborators: bassist Tommy Cecil and drummer Tony Martucci, who colorfully punctuated the rhythmically tricky arrangements.
The engagement runs through Sunday.
September 17, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
Categories: In concert | Tags: Mose Allison
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