Mose Allison

The 82-year-old pianist celebrates a strong new album in Madison Square Park.



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Madison Square Park; Wed 30

“Well, a young man ain’t got nothing in the world these days,” goes the opening of Mose Allison’s “Young Man’s Blues,” immortalized by the Who’s rowdy stage version. But beyond holding “all the money,” what of the old man? Now 82, Allison had retired from recording for more than a decade before producer Joe Henry lured the reluctant singer and pianist back to work last summer. Like a crotchety geezer who gets dragged onto the playground by his grandson and then proceeds to have all the fun, Allison dives into the subsequent LP, The Way of the World (Anti-), with what appears to be surprised glee. The album is true to the original blend of blues, jazz and old American pop Allison has been crafting since the ’50s, delivered through a droll jive-croak that presaged Randy Newman. “My brain is always ticking,” the old man sings, “long as I am live and kicking.”

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