Mose Allison – The Way of the World

January 01, 1970

(Anti-)

 

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At 82 years young, legendary jazz
bluesman Mose Allison sounds as spry and wry as ever on The Way of the World. Though age might have weathered his voice a
touch, but remains as distinctive as ever and his skills on the piano remain
unmatched on this, his first album in over 12 years. Produced by Joe Henry with
the same sense of tender love and care he brought to his work with soul legends
Bettye LaVette, Solomon Burke and Allen Toussaint, he provides Mose a sparse
playground for which the man who has inspired everyone from The Who, the Clash
and Elvis Costello to Norah Jones and Randy Newman to do what he does best:
craft sweet, spare melodies that candy coat a sardonic, rapier wit brimming
with vitriol.

 

Whether he’s skewering organized
religion (“Modest Proposal”), romantic relationships on the rocks (“I Know You
Didn’t Mean It”) or his own mental state (“My Brain”), Mose proves age has got
nothing to do with the Young Man Blues, as Henry’s crack studio band led by
guitarist Greg Leisz delivers sparse, jazzy jump blues scales on par with
Allison’s old crew from the Atlantic days. The
Way of the World
is further highlighted by the buoyant instrumental “Crush”
showcasing his still top-dollar piano skills and a cover of Buddy Johnson’s
World War II-era pop classic “New Situation,” his very first duet with daughter
Amy Allison, an accomplished artist in her own right.

 

From what’s been written, it seemed
like it took a bit of convincing on Joe Henry’s part to get Allison back in the
studio. And after listening to The Way of
the World
, not only Mose’s best album since the ‘60s but an early candidate
for one of the best of this year, you will surely be glad Joe got him back behind the microphone.

 

Standout
Tracks:
“My Brain”, “Modest
Proposal”, “Crush”, “New Situation” RON HART

 

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