[New Release] VARIOUS ARTISTS
“If You’re Going to the City: A Tribute to Mose Allison”
Label: Fat Possum
It may be a tired cliche to say someone was one of a kind, but Mose Allison most definitely was.
A jazz and blues pianist whose songwriting career meshed lyrics with Mad magazine wit, keen philosophical observations and pure melodies that he sang in a cool conversational voice, Allison, who died three years ago at age 89, was an inspiration to everyone from Pete Townshend to Van Morrison.
In an album benefiting the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, a true collection of greats put their own artistry at the service of 15 outstanding Allison tracks from across his extensive career.
It’s their diversity and personalized takes on the songs that make this album so enjoyable. There have been many versions of Allison’s songs over the years, and several here are absolutely marvelous. They include Loudon Wainwright III’s guitar-and-voice take on “Ever Since the World Ended,’’ with its upbeat descriptions of post-apocalyptic life, Dave and Phil Alvin’s fierce version of “Wild Man on the Loose,’’ Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite’s fiery “Nightclub’’ and Iggy Pop’s late-period Miles Davis-like adaptation of the title track.