The Way of the World
I saw Mose Allison live a couple of times in the mid-nineties. I was struck that, despite decades in the music business, the singer-pianist was so utterly at ease with being himself; without a hint of the ‘reinvention’ that many so many artists attempt. His combination of beatnik jazz patter and bluesy piano riffs was well worn, but never seemed stale.
Allison is 82 now, and hasn’t released a studio recording in a dozen years. But producer/performer Joe Henry managed to coax him out of retirement for one more set of songs. The resulting CD, The Way of the World demonstrates that Allison is still a talented performer and thoughtful songwriter. His lyrics takes an unflinching look at the vagaries of aging, the daily disappointments of the 24-hour news cycle, and the resilient power and omnipresent bewilderments of love. On the delightful blues paean to senior moments, “My Brain,” Allison sings “My brain is losing power,” but it is hard for the listener to accept this; he seems as sharp as ever.