Mose Allison was born in the Mississippi Delta on his grandfathers farm near the village of Tippo. At five he discovered he could play the piano by ear and began picking out blues and boogie tunes he heard on the local jukebox. In high school he listened to the music of Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan, and his prime inspiration, Nat Cole of the King Cole Trio. He played trumpet in the marching and dance bands and started writing his own songs.
After a year at the University of Mississippi, he went to the Army in l946, playing in the Army Band in Colorado Springs and performing with accomplished musicians from around the country in small groups at NCO and Officers clubs. Returning to Ole Miss he joined the dance band as arranger, piano and trumpet player, but shortly left to form his own trio, playing piano and singing in a style heavily influenced by Nat Cole, Louis Jordan and Erroll Garner. After a year on the road, Mose married, returned to college at Louisiana State University and graduated in 1952 with a BA in English and Philosophy.
He worked in nightclubs throughout the Southeast and West, blending the raw blues of his childhood with modern pianistic influences of John Lewis, Thelonius Monk and Al Haig. His vocal style was influenced by blues singers Percy Mayfield and Charles Brown. Arriving in New York in 1956, Mose received encouragement, work and a record date from Al Cohn. In 1957 he secured his own first recording contract with Prestige Records, recording Back Country Suite, a collection of pieces evoking the Mississippi Delta, released to unanimous critical acclaim. Mose went on to play and record with jazz greats Stan Getz, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims and Gerry Mulligan as well as with his own Mose Allison Trio.
Read more articles
November 17, 2016
Mose Allison: Favorite Tracks
November 16, 2016
Mose Allison (1927-2016)
November 16, 2016
Mose Allison Is Gone
July 13, 2016
Mose Allison: Thinkin' + Feelin'
October 29, 2015
Mose Allison: Live in California
September 20, 2010
Fall Concert Series at Roller's Flying Fish: Frank Zappa Artist Cal...
September 11, 2010
Interview: Mose Allison (Part 2)
September 10, 2010
Interview: Mose Allison (Part 1)
July 17, 2010
Mose Allison, "The Way of the World" (CD Review)
May 15, 2010
One Track Mind: Mose Allison "My Brain" (2010)
March 24, 2010
Mose Allison's New Album "The Way of the World" Just Released -...
March 22, 2010
Review: At 82 Mose Allison Sings Like a Sage
March 15, 2010
Mose Allison to Release Anti Debut "The Way of the World" March 23
February 14, 2010
Singer/Songwriter Mose Allison Interviewed at AAJ
January 26, 2010
CD Reviews: Pat Metheny, Mose Allison, and More
January 20, 2010
Live Review: Mose Allison at Largo's
January 14, 2010
Mose Allison at Largo at the Coronet
April 18, 2009
Jazzfest Regina 2009 Features Mose Allison Trio, Hugh Fraser and Veji
February 02, 2009
Mose Allison Plays the Jazz Bakery
January 28, 2009
Mose Allison Coming to the Jazz Bakery
When I discovered Mose Allison I felt I had discovered the
between jazz and blues —Ray Davies
The man's voice was heaven. So cool, so decisively hip...
Mose was my man.
I felt him to be the epitome of restrained screaming power.
For over thirty years, this premier songwriter, singer and
pianist has stared
down the oncoming doom, peppering his idiosyncratic blend
of jazz and
blues with mordant wit and unflinching honesty. —Village