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Retro World (FLOATM6068 )

Seventh Son, Eyesight To The Blind, Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me, Lost Mind, I've Got A Right To Cry, Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand, Parchman Farm, If You Live, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, One Room Country Shack, I Hadn't Anyone Till You, Young Man's Blues, That's Alright, Baby Please Don't Go, Deed I Do, I Love The Life I Live, Fool's Paradise, You're A Sweetheart, Mad With You, I Ain't Got Nobody and more!

Here's a nice 2CD set of Mose Allison jazz classics taken from his sessions for Prestige and Columbia in the late fifties. This music is the good old early stuff that Mose sourced from the blues he heard as a kid down in Tippo, Mississippi and transformed with his trademark laid-back cool jazz treatment that has kept fans hooked ever since.

You get Allison's favourite instrumental LP Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown released on Columbia and the mostly instrumental Prestige album Back Country Suite which positively drips in atmospheric sketches of humid deep south life with tunes like Warm Night, New Ground, Promised Land and Highway 49. The "suite" also includes some early Allison vocals on great numbers like Mercy Dee's blues One Room Country Shack and Allison's own tune Blues which became known as Young Man's Blues when The Who recorded it in the sixties giving Mose his biggest ever royalty cheque.

The hits come fast and furious on disc one - it's bursting with all the great Allison vocal performances from the tremendous blues arrangements on Sonny Boy's Eyesight To The Blind, Percy Mayfield's epic Lost Mind and Willie Dixon's The Seventh Son to the wry humour and intriguing piano doodlings on Parchman Farm, If You Live and Don't Get Around Much Anymore.

Then there is the small batch of spacey, echo-laden tracks from his Columbia album I Love The Life I Live. This was the first Mose Allison LP I ever owned and it's still one of the most important records on my shelves. Listen to the full force of the young Mose Allison swinging like crazy on You're A Sweetheart, Fool's Paradise and Mad With You and you'll understand why Mose is so important to me.

There are times when you just want the cool jazzed-out music of Mose Allison to gently wash over you - nothing else will quite hit the mark. If you're already a fan, you know what I mean. If you're not familiar with his music, get this and prepare to get cool and mellow! Five Stars.

Ask for FLOATM6068. Only £9.15 & p&p here at Red Lick

Review Date: January 2011

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