Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Pianist Mose Allison in His Final Live Recording: Mose Allison American Legend, Live in California

Mose Allison is an icon. He is said to have been British rock's most influential jazz musician (Time Out London). He inspired Pete Townshend, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits. His own songs have been covered by Diana Krall, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, Van Morrison, John Mayall, The Who, The Clash, Eric Clapton and the Yardbirds, to name a few. He was honored as a NEA Jazz Master in 2013, which is the United States' highest honor in jazz as well as being honored by the National Endowment for the Arts. He has made more than 40 recordings and was nominated for Grammys® in 1983, 1988 and 2001.

On Mose Allison American Legend, Live in California, Allison teamed up with a veteran trio of longtime drummer Pete Magadini and bassist Bill Douglass. With this team of great musicians, Allison was able to recreate the intimate sessions that he had been renowned for throughout his entire career. Live in California captures the true atmosphere of what made Allison such an influential musician and performer. Even at 79, Allison is able to a give an inspired and enthralling performance that matches the energy of the audience at 19 Broadway. Magadini states, "You will hear that the audience in the room is totally into Mose and the trio. This phenomenon would almost always happen when we performed in clubs but the music never left the room. Now it has and it's been captured and perserved in this live recording."

Allison and his trio performs some of his most cherished works including "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy," "Your Mind is on Vacation," "I Don't Want Much," "Ever Since the World Ended," and "City Home." In all, there are 12 original classic Mose Allison songs as well as some of Allison's favorite standards including songs by Percy Mayfield, Duke Ellington, Big Joe Williams and John D. Loudermilk. All were played and recorded in the intimacy of a very soulful nightclub in front of an equally impassioned audience.

Mose toured jazz festivals and the most renowned stages throughout his life. For the most part Allison never recorded much while playing "live" in clubs. Many of his best performances stayed in those rooms and devoted audiences were left with preserving their experience to memory. This recording now brings the live aspect of Allison to the forefront and encapsulates his career and love of performing. Although Allison has since retired, this recording is a snapshot in history and is a rare gem for his fans and all blues-jazz lovers.

Mose Allison was born in 1927 in Tippo, part of the famous Mississippi Delta that has produced some of the best blues artists. His art has combined these deep blues roots with sophisticated jazz and inspired lyrics. This unique sound rooted in various styles has made Allison a versatile and inspiring performer and when he arrived in New York in 1956 he was able to play piano for significant artists including Al Cohn, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Zoot Sims and more.

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