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Tell Me Something:
The Songs of Mose Allison

Verve (314-533 203-2)
(Released October, 1996))

  1. One of These Days (3:18)
  2. You Can Count On Me (To Do My Part) (3:22)
  3. If You Live (3:47)
  4. Was (3:28)
  5. Look Here (2:09)
  6. City Home (3:26)
  7. No Trouble Livin' (2:15)
  8. Benediction(3:01)
  9. Back On the Corner (2:23)
  10. Tell Me Something (2:40)
  11. I Don't Want Much (2:03)
  12. News Nightclub (2:43)
  13. Perfect Moment (2:13)
    Total time: (36:48)

Click on the track timing figures above for information on the musicians who played on that track.

From ICE magazine (September 1996):
Although technically it's not a new Van Morrison album, fans of the Belfast Cowboy will undoubtedly flock to a new CD due from Verve on October 8 called Tell Me Something: the Songs of Mose Allison with Van Morrison, Georgie Fame, Ben Sidran and Mose Allison. As the title implies, the new disc is a tribute to Allison, a songwriter/performer who defies categorization. The four highlighted artists - including Allison himself on two tracks - mix and match their talents, trading off lead vocal duties on the 13 Allison originals. The final product could be filed comfortably under jazz, blues or pop

"It's not just another Van Morrison album," says Randy Dry, National Manager of Field Marketing for PolyGram Classics and Jazz, "although inevitably, it'll be filed under Van Morrison." "That's because Morrison is, largely, the star of the show, and anyone who knows his work will realize that he was the impetus behind the project.

Then again, Morrison sings on only seven of the disc's 13 tracks; Sidran and Fame divide lead-vocal duties on the remaining eight. All three team up for vocals on one track, "Benediction," and Allison himself joins Morrison on two tracks near the end of the album. So it very much has the feel of a group effort, with musicians coming and going, watching the others work when they're not playing themselves.

For those not familiar with Allison's music, Sidran reverently describes it in the set's liner notes. "The music of Mose Allison has had an influence way beyond his record sales, which are modest," Sidran writes. "He has been recording for more than 35 years, and I can think of no songwriter during that period whose work has had a greater impact on his followers. Van, for example, rates Mose as one of the greatest songwriters of our century. His songs look you dead in the eye and tell you exactly what's happening, with no apologies."

The track list for Tell Me Something: "One of These Days" (lead vocal by Morrison), "You Can Count on Me (To Do My Part)" (Morrison, with horns arranged by sidekick Pee Wee Ellis), "If You Live" (Sidran), "Was" (Fame), "Look Here" (Sidran), "City Home" (Fame), "No Trouble Livin'"(Sidran), "Benediction" (Morrison, Sidran and Fame), "Back on the Corner" (Fame, with horns by Ellis) "Tell Me Something" (Morrison), "I Don't Want Much" (Morrison and Allison), "News Nightclub" (Morrison, with horns by Ellis) and "Perfect Moment" (Morrison and Allison). In the liner notes, Sidran observes, "The sessions, like the sessions of a Mose Allison date, were fast and clean, all live performances and first or second takes."

This is the album which Morrison decided to release instead of his two-disc set of rarities, The Philosopher's Stone (ICE #111), which, at last report, was still slated to come out sometime next year.

In the meantime, Morrison is said to be working on still another, non-jazz album, which is penciled in for early 1997.

  • See also this 1996 article/interview with Mose Allison.

    Part of the unofficial website

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