This Prestige collection combines two 1958 sessions that feature Mose Allison on many cherished standards, and a few early originals. Here the pianist/vocalist divides his time between instrumental piano trio numbers and those that feature his bluesy Southern vocals. Listening to many of these familiar tunes, it is easy to see how Allison was influenced by everyone from Sonny Boy Williamson and Nat King Cole to Bud Powell.
His astutely swinging piano technique is on striking display on spirited numbers such as the crisply moving "Bye Bye Blues," as well as Charlie Parker's "Yardbird Suite." Fans of Allison's saucy vocal styling will get a kick out of his lazy read of Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," and Ray Noble's "I Hadn't Anyone 'til You." In all, these early sessions show why Allison gained so much attention from the very beginning of his long career.