Born in the Mississippi Delta and raised on the music of Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole, Mose Allison picked up piano and trumpet as naturally as he did walking, and went on to influence a who’s who of musicians with his insightful lyricism and infectious fusion of jazz with the Delta blues.
Allison made his way to New York City in the mid ‘50s and released his debut, Back Country Suite, on Prestige Records in 1957. Over the next six decades, Allison continued with his prolific, humorous songwriting, kept up work with the Mose Allison Trio and toured extensively nationally and abroad.
His songs have been covered by Van Morrison, John Mayall, the Who, the Clash, Eric Clapton, the Yardbirds, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and many more, and he is still seen as a major inspiration to the British Invasion rockers.
Grammy nominated Allison retired from performing in 2012, and was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2013.
In Paul Bernays’ 2006 documentary for BBC, Mose Allison: Ever Since I Stole the Blues, Allison states, “my definition of jazz is music that’s felt, thought and performed simultaneously. And that’s what I’m looking for every night.”
Allison is survived by his wife, Audre, and their four children.