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RECORDING: Mose Allison: Live 1978

There are plenty of post-war jazz songwriter-pianists who work overtime to be with-it. Some come off as Beat poets and cool daddy-o’s while others strain to be clever phrase-turners and honky-tonk players. For me, there are only two truly hip originals—Thelonious Monk and Mose Allison. Monk and Mose each had a distinct sound that was both jagged and playful and both were humble and almost meek off the bandstand, a true mark of cool…

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