Mose Allison: Gimcracks and Gewgaws

One can only marvel at the stream of invention that flows from Mose Allison. There are few surprises in this latest release-and maybe that’s the good news. What’s on tap here is at that comfortable level of music and mastery that one has come to expect from Mose John Allison, Jr.-or “MJA, Jr.,” the typically offhanded opener here, which considers the many variations his name inspires and the implicit affront to his mother they represent-all put across with that accomplished sense of wordplay that has long marked his work. Through the range of tempos presented here, Allison’s flinty phrasing is constantly striking sparks of delight and laughter. His playmates include Paul Motian on drums, Ratzo Harris on bass, Mark Shim on tenor sax, and Russell Malone on guitar.