Mose Allison’s music has gotten me through a lot of tough times over the years. His songs and his voice and his piano playing ignited dreams in me as a young boy, and when I was in college, listening to the album The Word From Mose, with the song “Foolkiller,” got me to straighten up and get serious about my life. And then when I became a professional musician, he was a terrific role model for how to carry yourself in an honorable way through the shifting sands of show business.
So it was a gift to get to know him over the years and to spend some real time with him. For example, in the fall of 2000, I was his “sunglasses” guy. At the time I was producing his recordings for Blue Note, though “producing” is a bit of a misnomer. Every couple of years, when he had a batch of new songs, we would get together and talk about musicians and locations, and then I would book the cats and the studios and try to stretch the paltry budget Blue Note gave him to make it work. I think “facilitator” would be more accurate than “producer.” I basically ran interference for him.