Van Morrison, Georgie Fame, Mose Allison & Ben Sidran

The Songs of Mose Allison

  • Verve

Mose Allison's unique vocal style and songwriting have largely gone unnoticed in jazz circles. In this collaboration, Morrison, Fame and Sidran pay a tribute to Allison that is long overdue. Ultimately, however, in the tradition of many tribute albums, this collection reminds us that there is no substitute for the real McCoy. Occasionally, the personnel evokes the spirit and stylings of Allison with success. On tracks like “If You Live” and “No Trouble Livin',” Sidran creates the intimate sounds made famous by Allison; his piano and voice are fluid, smooth and tart. On other tunes, however, like “Benedictio,” disaster strikes. More in the vein of Morrison's recent work, it lacks any authenticity, departing from the intimate into the realm of stale pop blues. If anything, this album begs us to go to the source.

— J. Drew Todd