Mose Allison The Way Of The World

Mose Allison The Way Of The World
Although revered by songwriters from Pete Townshend to Frank Black for over 50 years, Mose Allison remains an enigma to many. At the dawn of rock and roll and R&B, he was a white kid from Mississippi playing jazz piano and writing lyrics so simple and direct they could have come from a songwriting manual. For many hip young musicians over the last five decades, Allison's songs did indeed become a manual on how to inject their voice into the blues. One of those musicians is Joe Henry, who once again does a masterful job in turning a personal obsession with recording one of his heroes into a transcendent piece of contemporary art. At 82, Allison's output now stresses quality over quantity, and each of The Way Of The World's 12 tracks is an individual gem aided by Henry's usual cast of drummer Jay Bellerose, bassist David Piltch and slide guitarist Greg Leisz. There's no question that Allison is leading the band though, especially on breathtaking instrumental "Crush." But his gift for clear-eyed observation and dark humour is equally sharp on "Modest Proposal," "Ask Me Nice" and the title track. These further reinforce the notion that no one else can write a song like Mose Allison, and fans of all genres of music who don't know that should use The Way Of The World as a starting point. (Anti)