JJ 03/59: Mose Allison Trio – Local Color

First published Jazz Journal, March 1959


If Mose Allison’s first record set the critics talking, this one has laid them by the ears. There is something so earthy about this pianist that for once I do not feel the necessity to put him into one of the conventional categories. He has certainly listened to some of the modernists, for there is no question of him playing stride piano or anything delectable like that.

The first side is devoted to a suite called “Local Color”, comprising five vignettes. ”Parchman Farm” he sings just like Hoagy Carmichael, then drops into the slow bluesy “Crepscular Air”, finishing with two bouncy pieces, of which I prefer “Town”.

Mose shows himself to be a light-fingered pianist, vaguely reminiscent of Mel Powell, but without the Wilsonian bass which the latter normally plays. I doubt in fact if he was influenced by Powell – more likely he embraced dashes of Horace Silver into his playing. Someone, who should know, told me that he appeared to have only a limited repertoire, but that what he played was great.

On the showing of these two records he is a pianist to watch, with eager interest so far as I am concerned. He employs a basically simple approach which is far away from the busy style adopted by most contemporary pianists. He plays cleanly, and knows how to make the best of his rhythm duo. Messrs. Farmer and Stabulas.

I attach no great importance to his trumpet solo, “Trouble In Mind”. It is pleasant, but he docs not get to grips with the instrument as he does with the piano. More like this, please, Mr. Krahmer.
Gerald Lascelles

(a) Carnival; (c) Parchman Farm; (a) Crepuscular Air! (a) Mojo Woman; (a) Town (17 min) – (b) Trouble In Mind; (c) Lost Mind; (a) I’ll Never Be Free; (a) Don’t Ever Say Goodbye; (a) Ain’t Yon A Mess (18½ min)
(a) Mose Allison (pno); Addison Farmer (bs): Nick Stabulas (drs). (b) as (a) but Allison plays tpt. (c) as (a) but Allison sings. 8/11/57.
Esquire 32-071. 12in LP. 39s. 7½d.