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Interview:
Mose Allison didn't plan to make latest album
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Mose Allison last released a studio album in 1998, and he had no plans to do another.

Then Joe Henry — a Rochester Adams graduate who’s produced acclaimed albums for Solomon Burke, Bettye LaVette, Loudon Wainwright III and others — decided it was time for the jazz-blues legend to record again, resulting in “The Way of the World.” And Allison acquiesced — but not immediately.

“I had lots of albums out, but none of them were selling, so I didn’t see any end in making another record,” explains Allison, 82, a Mississippi native who launched his career during the ‘50s, after a stint in the U.S. Army and studies at the University of Mississippi and Louisiana State University. “I met Joe in Germany, and he said at the time he wanted to record me, but I sloughed it off.

“He kept at it, though. He kept e-mailing my wife and sending stuff for me to listen to and all kinds of things. I decided finally that I should do it. Joe had a great reputation and he’s a good musician, so I decided to give it a try. We did pretty much what he wanted to do, and it worked out great.”

Allison — whose songs have been covered by The Who, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits and others — won’t promise another album, but he still enjoys playing live, about 100 nights a year. That’s becoming a difficult sell, too, however.

“The travel is getting me down,” he says. “It’s getting to be more of a chore every time you get on a plane. And then you get out of the plane and you get into the traffic jam on the way to the hotel or something. It wears you down, so I don’t know how long I can continue to do it. We’ll have to see.”



Mose Allison performs at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 10-13, at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, 97 Kercheval, Grosse Pointe Farms. Cover is $30 Wednesday and Thursday, $40 Friday and Saturday. Call 313-882-5299.

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