||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
|Birth name||Mose John Allison, Jr.|
November 11, 1927 |
Tippo, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, United States
|Genres||Jazz, jazz blues, blues|
|Instruments||Piano, vocals, trumpet|
Allison was born outside Tippo, Mississippi on his grandfather's farm, which was known as The Island "because Tippo Bayou encircles it." He played piano in grammar school and trumpet in high school. He went to college at the University of Mississippi for a while, then enlisted in the U.S. Army for two years. Shortly after mustering out, he enrolled at Louisiana State University, from which he was graduated in 1952 with a BA in English with a minor in Philosophy.
In 1956 he moved to New York City and launched his jazz career performing with artists such as Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, and Phil Woods. His debut album, Back Country Suite, was issued on the Prestige label in 1957. He formed his own trio in 1958.
It was not until 1963 that his record label allowed him to release an album entirely of vocals. Entitled Mose Allison Sings, it was a collection of songs that paid tribute to artists of the Mojo Triangle: Sonny Boy Williamson ("Eyesight to the Blind"), Jimmy Rogers ("That's All Right") and Willie Dixon ("The Seventh Son"). However, it was an original composition in the album that brought him the most attention – "Parchman Farm". For more than two decades, "Parchman Farm" was his most requested song. He dropped it from his playlist in the 1980s because some critics felt it was politically incorrect. Allison explained to Nine-O-One Network Magazine: "I don't do the cotton sack songs much anymore. You go to the Mississippi Delta and there are no cotton sacks. It's all machines and chemicals."
Prestige Records tried to market Allison as a pop star, but Columbia Records and later Atlantic Records tried to market him as a blues artist. Because he sang blues, Jet magazine thought that he was black and wanted to interview him.
Allison was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
Allison's March 2010 album, The Way of the World, "marked his return to the recording studio after a 12-year absence."
In 2012, Allison was honored with a blues marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail in his hometown of Tippo. On January 14, 2013, Allison was honored as a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts at a ceremony at Lincoln Center in New York. The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship is the nation's highest honor in jazz.
His music has influenced many blues and rock artists, including Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Tom Waits, The Yardbirds, John Mayall, J. J. Cale, The Who (who made "Young Man Blues" a staple of their live performances and used it to open their original Live at Leeds album), and Georgie Fame, who described him, at a concert at the Rose Theatre Kingston on 24 May 2013, as "more important than Bob Dylan". Blue Cheer also recorded a version of his song "Parchman Farm" on their debut album, as well as the band Cactus, featuring Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert in the very early seventies. The Yardbirds and The Misunderstood both recorded versions of his song "I'm Not Talking".
His song "Look Here" was covered by The Clash on their album Sandinista!. Leon Russell covered Allison's song "Smashed!" on his album Stop All That Jazz. Van Morrison released an album of his songs entitled Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison, and Elvis Costello recorded "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy" on his album Kojak Variety and "Your Mind Is On Vacation" on King of America (Bonus Tracks). Dani Klein of Belgian music act Vaya Con Dios recorded Mind on Vacation on the album Roots and Wings.
Frank Black of the Pixies claims that the song "Allison" from the album Bossanova is about Mose Allison. He also states this at the beginning of the video for the song. His song "Monsters of the Id" was recorded by Stan Ridgway on his 2004 album Snakebite: Blacktop Ballads And Fugitive Songs.
The film The Whole Nine Yards begins with Allison's song "I Don't Worry About a Thing" during the opening credits. Americana singer-songwriter Greg Brown wrote and performed the song "Mose Allison Played Here" on his 1997 album, Slant 6 Mind.
- 1957 : Back Country Suite (Prestige 7091)
- 1957 : Local Color (Prestige 7121)
- 1958 : Young Man Mose (Prestige 7137)
- 1958 : Ramblin' with Mose (Prestige 7215)
- 1958 : Creek Bank (Prestige 7152)
- 1959 : Autumn Song (Prestige 7189)
- 1959 : Transfiguration of Hiram Brown (Columbia)
- 1960 : I Love the Life I Live (Columbia)
- 1961 : V-8 Ford Blues (Epic/Legacy)
- 1961 : Takes to the Hills (Epic)
- 1962 : That's Jazz (Atlantic)
- 1962 : I Don't Worry About a Thing (Atlantic, Rhino)
- 1962 : Swingin' Machine (Atlantic)
- 1963 : Mose Allison Sings (Prestige 7279)
- 1964 : The Songs of Mose Allison (Atlantic)
- 1964 : The Word from Mose Allison (Atlantic)
- 1965 : Wild Man on the Loose (Atlantic)
- 1965 : Mose Alive! (Atlantic)
- 1965 : Down Home Piano (Prestige 7423)
- 1965 : Mose Allison Plays for Lovers (Prestige 7446)
- 1968 : I've Been Doin' Some Thinkin' (Atlantic)
- 1969 : Hello There, Universe (Atlantic)
- 1971 : Western Man (Atlantic)
- 1972 : Mose in Your Ear [live] (Atlantic)
- 1972(?) : Retrospective (Columbia)
- 1975 : Creek Bank (1958 recordings from 2 different sessions) (Prestige Records)
- 1976 : Your Mind is on Vacation (Koch)
- 1978 : Pure Mose [live] (32 Jazz)
- 1979 : Ol' Devil Mose [compilation] (Prestige 24089)
- 1982 : Middle Class White Boy (Discovery)
- 1982 : Lessons in Living [live] (Elektra)
- 1987 : Ever Since the World Ended (Blue Note)
- 1988 : The Best of Mose Allison (Atlantic)
- 1989 : My Backyard (Blue Note)
- 1993 : The Earth Wants You [live] (Blue Note)
- 1994 : Allison Wonderland Anthology (Rhino Records)
- 1996 : Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison (Verve Records)
- 1997 : Gimcracks and Gewgaws (Blue Note)
- 2001 : The Mose Chronicles: Live in London, vol. 1 (Blue Note)
- 2002 : The Mose chronicles: live in London, vol. 2 (Blue Note)
- 2010 : The Way of the World (ANTI-)
- "Mose Allison". Blues Access. Spring 1998. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
- Feather, Leonard & Gitler, Ira (2007) The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz Oxford University Press, p. 14
- Myers, Mark (2010-09-09). "Interview: Mose Allison (Part 1) accessdate=2014-03-04".
- Dickerson, James L. (2005). Mojo Triangle:Birthplace of Country, Blues, Jazz and Rock 'n' Roll (Schirmer Trade Books), pp. 110-112
- 901 Interview (May 1987), Nine-O-One Network Magazine, p. 6
- "Jazz Profiles from NPR: Mose Allison". NPR. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
- "Mose Allison Official Web Site". 2010. Retrieved 2014-03-03.
- AlecEiffel.net Pixies Titles/Names. Retrieved on 2008-04-01. Archived 28 June 2007 at WebCite
- Official Site
- Concert review at allaboutjazz.com (February 11, 2005)
- Los Angeles Citybeat - Mose Allison Interview
- Mose Allison at Rhapsody