Foolkiller: Farewelling Mose Allison

Farewell (yet again) to a giant of popular music.

njrabe

moseallison

Mose Allison has passed away, the latest music icon in what is turning into a bumper year for the Grim Reaper.

I came late to his fan club. I was well into my 40s when I first heard Mojo Woman, which stopped me dead in my tracks. The notes moved through the room like meandering molten lava. Every inch of space was conquered by the pristine melody and syncopation.

For the next several years Mose was the man I turned to most frequently when I wanted something no other musician could give: bluesy jazz or jazzy blues. Neither and both.

For years, as I trudged through the snow banks at the University of Minnesota, I would see handbills with Mose’s picture stapled to lampposts all over the campus. Sadly, poverty and limited curiosity kept me ignorant of this genius for 25 more years.

When my wife and I were…

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