Mose John Allison, Jr. (born November 11, 1927,
Tippo, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi) is an American jazz blues
pianist and singer.
He played piano in grammar school and trumpet in high school. He went
to college at the University of Mississippi and Louisiana State
University from where he graduated in 1952. He received a BA in English
with a minor in Philosophy. After serving in the U.S. Army, he moved to
New York City and launched his jazz career performing with artists such
as Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, and Phil Woods. His
debut album, Back Country Suite was issued on the Prestige label in
1957. He formed his own trio in 1958.
His song "Look Here" was covered by The Clash on their album
Sandinista!. Leon Russell covered
Allison's song "Smashed!" on his album Stop All That Jazz. Van Morrison
released an album of his songs entitled Tell Me Something: The Songs of
Mose Allison, and Elvis Costello recorded "Everybody's Cryin' Mercy" on
his album Kojak Variety and "Your Mind Is On Vacation" on King of
America (Bonus Tracks). Frank Black of the Pixies claims that the song
"Allison" off the album Bossanova is about Mose Allison. He also states
this at the beginning of the video for the song. His song "Monsters of
the Id" was recorded by Stan Ridgway on his 2004 album Snakebite:
Blacktop Ballads And Fugitive Songs.
The film The Whole Nine Yards begins with Mose Allison's song "I Don't
Worry About A Thing" during the opening credits. Americana
singer-songwriter Greg Brown wrote and performed the song "Mose Allison
Played Here" on his 1997 album, Slant 6 Mind. Alternative rock band
Pixies wrote the song "Allison" as a tribute to Mose Allison.
Allison was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
Allison has stated over the past few years that he would not be
recording any new albums, but as of March 1, 2010, his website declared
that his "new album, 'The Way of the World,' arrives March 23, 2010,
marking his return to the recording studio after a 12-year absence."