16 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the late '50s, before he began focusing on his sardonic songwriting skills, Mose Allison made a smoldering string of albums concentrating more on his piano work and his knack for singing other artists' compositions. This anthology of his Prestige work is authoritative, showing his gifts as a jazz/blues vocalist and his own burgeoning way with words. Allison's own "If You Live" is an insidiously swinging, bluesy ode to existentialism that must have earned a place in the hearts of many a beatnik in its day, and his "Young Man Blues" is a musical equivalent to Rebel Without a Cause that was covered by (and a key influence on) The Who. But the collection is dominated by classic jazz and blues tunes from the pens of others; with his trademark low-key delivery, Mose is just as convincing delivering Willie Dixon's Chicago blues standard "Seventh Son" as he is when lending some sub-zero cool to Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." And just in case anyone forgets about Allison's talents at the ivories, a few choice instrumentals are added onto the end of the album.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the late '50s, before he began focusing on his sardonic songwriting skills, Mose Allison made a smoldering string of albums concentrating more on his piano work and his knack for singing other artists' compositions. This anthology of his Prestige work is authoritative, showing his gifts as a jazz/blues vocalist and his own burgeoning way with words. Allison's own "If You Live" is an insidiously swinging, bluesy ode to existentialism that must have earned a place in the hearts of many a beatnik in its day, and his "Young Man Blues" is a musical equivalent to Rebel Without a Cause that was covered by (and a key influence on) The Who. But the collection is dominated by classic jazz and blues tunes from the pens of others; with his trademark low-key delivery, Mose is just as convincing delivering Willie Dixon's Chicago blues standard "Seventh Son" as he is when lending some sub-zero cool to Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." And just in case anyone forgets about Allison's talents at the ivories, a few choice instrumentals are added onto the end of the album.

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