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In concert: Mose Allison at Blues Alley

mose allisonMose Allison's craftiness was on display Thursday at Blues Alley. (All photos by Evy Mages/FTWP)

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.

mose allison

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.

mose allison

mose allison

mose allison

By Click Track  |  September 17, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags: Mose Allison  
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