Jazz/Blues Piano Player Mose Allison Dies

Piano virtuose Mose Allison died November 15 from natural causes in his Hilton Head, South Carolina home at the age of 89. Allison had turned 89 only four days prior to his death.

Allison was one of those musicians who defied pigeon-holing into a single genre. His music was often said to be, “ too blue to be jazz, too jazz to be blues.” Speaking on his own music Allison said in a 1991 interview, “I’ve always had a category problem, that’s for sure. There’s a lot of blues in what I do. It’s still primarily jazz, but there’s a lot of influences thrown in there.”

Allison was one of those artists who never topped the music charts but he had numerous devoted fans and had a musical career that lasted over 50 years.

Allison has seen his music recorded by numerous artists including Sir Van Morrison, The Who, Elvis Constello, Bonnie Raitt, The Yardbirds, the Gories, Robert Palmer, Roy Rogers, Leon Russell, Hot Tuna, the Bangles, John Mayal, the Kinks, Georgie Fame, and The Clash.

Allison’s accomplishments include a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award and is a member of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

Mose Allison’s music has appeared on a handful of films and television programs including “The Kids are Alright,” “Permanent Midnight,” “The Whole Nine Yards,” “Lost Love,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who,” “Fringe,” and “Parenthood.”

He was born Mose John Allison on November 11, 1927 in Tippo, Mississippi the son of a Ragtime music player. Like B.B. King, Allison picked cotton in the Mississippi Delta when he was young. He began taking piano lessons when he was in the first grade. Allison noted that while he had a good piano teacher, he quit taking lessons once he figured out that he could pick music out on his own by ear.

Allison served in the US Army where he played in the Army band. He attended Ole Miss – the University of Mississippi – before forming his own band and began touring. He later returns to college at Louisiana State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy.

In 1956 Allison moved to New York City where he worked with a number of artists including Stan Getz and Gerry Mulligan.

Allison has also worked with Al Cohn.

Allison released his debut album “Back Country Suite” in 1957. It was the first of over two dozen albums that Allison would release during his long career.

Allison is survived by is wife of 65 years Audre and children – Amy, Janine, Alissa, and John, and two grandchildren.

Mose Allison discography:
“Back Country Suite”
“Local Color”
“Young Man Mose
“Ramblin’ with Mose”
“Creek Bank”
“Autumn Song”
“A Modern Jazz Premiere”
“Transfiguration of Hiram Brown”
“I Love the Life I Live”
“V-8 Ford Blues”
“Takes to the Hills”
“I Don’t Worry About a Thing”
“Mose Allison Sings”
“The Word from Mose Allison”
“The Song of Mose Allison”
“Down Home Piano”
“Mose Allison Plays for Lovers”
“Wild Man on the Loose”
“Mose Alive!”
“Swingin’ Machine”
“I’ve Been Doin’ Some Thinkin’”
“Mose Goes”
“Hello There, Universe”
“The Best of Mose Allison”
“Western Man”
“Mose in Your Ear”
“Seventh Son”
“Your Mind is on Vacation”
“That’s Jazz”
“Middle Class White Boy”
“Lesson in Living”
“Ever Since the World Ended”
“My Backyard”
“Greatest Hits”
“The Earth Wants You”
“Pure Mose”
“At His Best”
“High Jinks!”
“Gimcracks and Gewgaws”
“The Mose Chronicles: Live in London, Vol. 1”
The Mose Chronicles: Live in London, Vol. 2”
“The Way of the World”
“Inner Visions: Live with Mose Allison”
“Allison Wonderland”
“The Sage of Tippo”
“American Legend: Live in California”

Mose Allison also appear on:
“The Al Cohn Quintet” by The Al Cohn Quintet
“Live” by the Stan Getz Quartet
“The Soft Swing” by the Stan Getz Quartet
“Jazz Alive! A Night at the Half Note”
Al Cohn & Zoot Sims Quartet
“You ‘N Me” by the Al Cohn & Zoot Sims Quartet
“Hot Rods & Custom Classics”
“Live from te Mountain Stage Lounge”
“Jazz Profile”
“Nighttime Jazz”
“Smooth and Cool”
“Music to Install Windows 98 – Borders”
“Classic Jazz”
“Atlantic Jazz Classics”
“Atlantic Jazz Vocal Classics”
“Cocktail Mix,. Vol 2: Martini Madness”
“Drivin’ Blues”
“Essential Jazz”
“Great Moments in Jazz”
“Night Time Jazz”
“The Whole Nine Yards” Motion Picture Soundtrack
“Voices of Cool”

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