Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Mose Allison

The great Mose Allison returns in March with his first new album in twelve years titled “The Way Of The World”

Here is the statement as issued by his record company:-

Mose Allison’s new album and ANTI- debut The Way of the World arrives March 23rd, 2010, marking his return to the recording studio after a 12 year absence. Working with maverick producer Joe Henry, Allison has found his most sympathetic setting in years, surrounded by young, vibrant players, who add surprising slide guitar and some sinewy saxophone to the classic Mose sound;

The Way of the World also features Mose’ first-ever duet with his daughter, singer Amy Allison. Yet this album is all Mose, from the solo song “Modest Proposal,” a sly scalpel taken to organized religion, to the modernist, Monkish changes he takes the band through on the lone instrumental, “Crush.”

Remarking on the outsized influence that Allison has had on several generations of musicians, producer Henry writes in his heartfelt liner notes, “For many of us, Mose Allison has long stood as a great swaying bridge, spanning our strange, stormy times: linking the fifties to the present; the mystical country blues to the urbanity of jazz; tough beat poetry to wistful self-reflection; seduction to candor, heart to mind, wit to wisdom; Mark Twain straight through to Willie Dixon, with Chico Marx barking directions from the backseat, James Stewart at the wheel.”

Allison occupies a hallowed place in blues songwriting, sitting alongside Dixon and Percy Mayfield in bringing a witty, urbane sensibility to the modern blues. Also well documented is his sway over a generation of British rockers – most rock fans know the Who’s blistering run-through of “Young Man’s Blues” on Live at Leeds, but are less aware of Mose’ influence on John Mayall, Van Morrison, Ray Davies, and the Yardbirds, all the way through to the Clash, who covered “Look Here” on Sandinista.

Then there is that subtle, indefinable fact of Mose’ voice, that laconic, laid-back singing style without which we would have no Norah Jones, Diana Krall, Belle and Sebastian, and Schoolhouse Rock. Not to mention Allison the respected pianist, with his nods to Monk and Garner, and a slew of five-star Downbeat reviews in his piano bench.

The Way of the World finds Mose playing and writing with a new looseness, a playfulness and verve that belies his years, while behind the offhand swing lies the weight of those years, in the slowburn vitriol of Mose’s mind in full gear. That canny blend of easy swing and lyrical incision makes The Way of the World an instant classic, in Mose’ or anyone else’s repertoire.

Track List:
01. My Brain
02. I Know You Didn’t Mean It
03. Everybody Thinks You’re An Angel
04. Let It Come Down
05. Modest Proposal
06. Crush
07. Some Right, Some Wrong
08. The Way Of The World
09. Ask Me Nice
10. Once In A While
11. I’m Alright
12. The New Situation

“My Brain” – Mose Allison

Obviously a re-working of this Willie Dixon classic:-

“My Babe” – Davy Graham ( I have previously posted the Little Walter version)

To buy the music of Mose Allison click HERE

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February 16, 2010 Posted by | Blues, Jazz Vocal, New Music, New News, Video | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Harmonica (not Lewinski) – Little Walter

 

You can have all the technology you want but you will never better Little Walter.

Little Walter

Little Walter is the stage name of Marion Walter Jacobs (May 1, 1930February 15, 1968), a blues singer, harmonica player, and guitarist.

Jacobs is generally included among blues music greats—his revolutionary harmonica technique has earned comparisons to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix for its innovation and impact on succeeding generations of harmonica players. His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners’ expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica. Little Walter’s body of work earned him a spot in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the sideman category on March 10, 2008, making him the only artist ever to be inducted specifically for his work as a harmonica player.

Jacobs made his first released recordings in 1947 for Bernard Abram’s tiny Ora-Nelle label, which operated out of the back room of Abrams’ Maxwell Radio and Records store in the heart of the Maxwell Street market area in Chicago. These and several other early Little Walter recordings, like many blues harp recordings of the era, owed a strong stylistic debt to pioneering blues harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee Williamson). Little Walter joined Muddy Waters‘ band in 1948, and by 1950, he was playing on Muddy’s recordings for Chess Records; for years after his departure from Muddy’s band in 1952, Little Walter continued to be brought in to play on his recording sessions, and as a result his harmonica is featured on most of Muddy’s classic recordings from the 1950s

Jacobs’ own career took off when he recorded as a bandleader for Chess’ subsidiary label Checker Records on 12 May 1952; the first completed take of the first song attempted at his debut session was a hit, spending eight weeks in the #1 position on the Billboard magazine R&B charts – the song was “Juke“, and it is still the only harmonica instrumental ever to become a #1 hit on the R&B charts. (Three other harmonica instrumentals by Little Walter also reached the Billboard R&B top 10: “Off the Wall” reached #8, “Roller Coaster” achieved #6, and “Sad Hours” reached the #2 position while Juke was still on the charts.) “Juke” was the biggest hit to date for Chess and its affiliated labels, and one of the biggest national R&B hits of 1952, securing Walter’s position on the Chess artist roster for the next decade. Little Walter scored fourteen top-ten hits on the Billboard R&B charts between 1952 and 1958, including two #1 hits (the second being “My Babe” in 1955), a feat never achieved by his former boss Waters, nor by his fellow Chess blues artists Howlin’ Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson II. Following the pattern of “Juke”, most of Little Walter’s single releases in the 1950s featured a vocal on one side, and an instrumental on the other. Many of Walter’s numbers were originals which he or Chess A&R man Willie Dixon wrote or adapted and updated from earlier blues themes. In general, his sound was more modern and uptempo than the popular Chicago blues of the day, with a jazzier conception than other contemporary blues harmonica players.

“My Babe” – Little Walter 

 

To buy the music of Little Walter click HERE

 

 

October 9, 2009 Posted by | Blues, Humour, Old Music, Video | , | 4 Comments

   

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