Thursday, February 19, 1998

Review - Gimcracks and Gewgaws

Artist: Mose Allison

Posted on Thu, Feb 19, 1998 at 4:00 AM

Mose Allison defined a whole school of jazz singing and playing, as evidenced by disciples like Ben Sidran (who produced "Gimcracks and Gewgaws") and Allison soulmates David Frishberg and Bob Dorough. His clever wordplay wraps around blues riffs, giving way to instrumental breaks that are reminiscent of pianist Cecil Taylor on downers.

He still comes up with astute observations on the human condition for "Gimcracks and Gewgaws" and edits them with a sardonic edge before setting them free to amuse the astute. But he also is capable of turning out fine, reflective tunes, as on "Texarkana" and "Numbers on a Page." And mention is deserved for his backup group, including drummer Paul Motian, guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Ratzo Harris and saxophonist Mark Shim.

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