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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Four Classic Albums Plus




CD 1

1. Barefoot-Dirt Road (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

2. City Home (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

3. Cuttin' Out (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

4. Gotham Day (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

5. Gotham Night (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

6. Echo (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

7. The River (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

8. Finale (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

9. Barefoot-Dirt Road (alternate take) (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

10. How Little We Know (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

11. Baby, Please Don't Go (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

12. Make Yourself Comfortable (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

13. 'Deed I Do (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

14. Love For Sale (Transfiguration Of Hiram Brown)

15. The Seventh Son (Creek Bank)

16. If I Didn't Care (Creek Bank)

17. Cabin In The Sky (Creek Bank)

18. If You Live (Creek Bank)

19. Yardbird Suite (Creek Bank)

20. Creek Bank (Creek Bank)

21. Moon And Cypress (Creek Bank)

22. Mule (Creek Bank)

23. Dinner On The Ground (Creek Bank)

24. Prelude To A Kiss (Creek Bank)

CD 2

1. I Love The Life I Live (I Love The Life I Live)

2. News (I Love The Life I Live)

3. Fool's Paradise (I Love The Life I Live)

4. You Turned The Tables On Me (I Love The Life I Live)

5. Isobel (I Love The Life I Live)

6. You're A Sweetheart (I Love The Life I Live)

7. Night Ride (I Love The Life I Live)

8. Path (I Love The Life I Live)

9. Mad With You (I Love The Life I Live)

10. Hittin' On One (I Love The Life I Live)

11. I Ain't Got Nobody (I Love The Life I Live)

12. Can't We Be Friends (I Love The Life I Live)

13. V-8 Ford Blues (V-8 Ford Blues)

14. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone (V-8 Ford Blues)

15. Hey, Good Lookin' (V-8 Ford Blues)

16. Back On The Corner (V-8 Ford Blues)

17. Life Is Suicide (V-8 Ford Blues)

18. Ask Me Nice (V-8 Ford Blues)

19. Somebody Else Is Taking My Place from Young Man Mose (mono recordings)

20. Don't Get Around Much Anymore from Young Man Mose (mono recordings)

21. Bye Bye Blues from Young Man Mose (mono recordings)

22. How Long Has This Been Going On? from Young Man Mose (mono recordings)

23. I Told Ya I Love Ya, Now Get Out from Young Man Mose (mono recordings)

24. Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand from Young Man Mose (mono recordings)

25. I Hadn't Anyone Till You from Young Man Mose (mono recordings)

26. My Kinda Love from Young Man Mose (mono recordings)

Mose Allison (piano, vocals) with variously Addison Framer, Henry Grimes, Bill Crow, Aaron Bell (bass) and Jerry Segal, Ronnie Free, Paul Motian, Gus Johnson, Osie Johnson Nick Stabulas (drums)

Recorded 1958-61 [78:49 + 78:50]

This is a difficult twofer to review, not because of its musical qualities, most of which are well-known by now but because of a clogged duplication problem in the current market. What do you do if you’re new to Mose Allison and want a representative selection of his early albums? If you go for this well-engineered twofer you will get what is called ‘selections’ from Young Man Mose – which means that you will not hear two tracks on that LP, Stroll and Sleepy Time Gal. I would probably agree that these are not quite as good as the disc confreres but if I was a Mose aficionado I’d want to ensure that the album’s integrity was respected – a difficult, if not impossible matter, given that there is simply no room to include them here in this tightly packed duo of discs.

A number of years ago one of the solutions was to get the Colombia trilogy album – Transfiguration of Hiram Brown, I Love the Life I Live, and V-8 Ford Blues – which reprised the albums with the original artwork and liner notes and put the three out in a slipcase. But now you can get all the 1957-62 recordings (11 albums) on a 5-CD set from Enlightenment in a box released recently. Whilst Real Gone Jazz has also released its bargain-priced retrospective of Mose’s earlier work it doesn’t actually – as the Enlightenment does – include all the material in the Avid twofer under review.

So, it’s a bit of a messy situation. This Avid is excellently transferred and reproduces the original sleeve notes. It also sensibly presents the discographical information on the first two pages of the booklet as opposed to cramming it in with the liner information, as was its standard practice in the past.

Nevertheless I’m still concerned about those two missing tracks. I’d also be worried that there are five tracks missing from the Mose Allison takes to the Hills LP on that big Enlightenment box – though at least it presents all the Young Man Mose LP. With that caveat this Avid is certainly a valuable addition to the Mose retrieval industry – though it’s not going to cost you very much more to get the big competing box with much more music – though I should warn you that Enlightenment’s hair shirt notes and jewel boxes should come with a health warning.

Jonathan Woolf

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