Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mose Allison

Performer, pianist, singer; one of America's great songwriters -- via the Portland Mercury. This one hurts. He would be remembered for his piano playing alone -- a clean, vibrant, playful player. But his dark, acerbic songs are gems -- cynical and unvarnished, misanthropic and accusatory, he was the Thomas Paine of Tin Pan Alley. His original recording in 1957, featuring his composition "Back Country Suite," was overshadowed by his controversial and popular "Parchman Farm" on his second album, the classic Local Color. Also worth owning -- 1976's Your Mind Is on Vacation and his incredible final studio album, 2010's The Way of the World. ("Let It Come Down" and "Modest Proposal" need covering.)

Where do you begin? Listen to his whole catalog, I have. "Your Molecular Structure," "Your Mind is On Vacation," "I Don't Worry About a Thing," "How Does It Feel," "Middle Class White Boy," "I Know You Didn't Mean It" -- you can hardly go wrong. Lest you think he was nothing but a grump, listen primarily to his instrumental pieces, which are full of joy, and sons such as "Perfect Moment." I will miss him terribly, and sing him constantly.