The Way of the World
Timeless: not restricted to a particular time or date
Mose Allison has released 40+ records since the late 1950s, and his latest, The Way of the World, could have been created at any point along the way. All the Allison hallmarks are here: the wry, pointed songwriting that skewers with a faint smile, such as on “Modest Proposal” (Let’s give God a vacation/ He must be tired of it all), the dancing, off-kilter Monkish piano and the weary, expressive vocals unique among American voices. He sounds today like the Mose of the Kennedy era, hunkered over a grand piano singing “Parchman Farm.”
Did I mention he recorded this in five days… at age 82?
Producer Joe Henry (who lobbied Allison over a year to record again) has surrounded the eternal hipster with a lively and devoted cast of musicians, particularly Walter Smith on saxophone and Greg Leisz on everything strung. The result sounds current without being in fear of dating itself, while maintaining the easy vibe that is Mose Allison. By the time the record closes with a duet between Allison and daughter, country songbird Amy Allison, on “This New Situation,” listeners know they’ve been in the grip of some sort of indefinable yet sublime greatness.