Jazzbeat, By Matt Warner For the Dayton Daily News
Young musicians played the Apollo Theater
Jazz has broken through many kinds of barriers: race, gender, social class and even age.
Music lovers in Dayton have the opportunity this month to hear some of the youngest and oldest players in jazz. Gilly’s presents Serious Young Musicians tonight and Mose Allison next Sunday. They may be separated by decades, but Serious Young Musicians and Mose Allison have both pleased jazz audiences, in Dayton and beyond.
SYM has received many good reports since their inception.
In 1996, the group’s director, Tumust Allison, assembled some of the area’s brightest elementary and middle-school music students, in order to provide supplementary instruction. Soon the group was playing gigs locally, astonishing listeners and musicians alike.
Last September, SYM had the privilege of playing at the famed Apollo Theater in New York City. It was, no doubt, an unforgettable experience for the young musicians to play on one of jazz’s hallowed stages.
Eventually the musicians of SYM outgrow the group, but Allison has a knack for finding more talent. One to watch is third-grader Denzel Hollis; the drummer was one of the SYM members to play the Apollo last fall.
Mose Allison, on the other extreme, has amassed a wealth of compositions and important musical connections over the course of his long career. He has been writing and performing music for roughly 60 years, and his music has withstood the various changes of taste within that span.
Instead of becoming a memory, Mose is still creating musical memories of his own. He is, arguably, more popular than ever; he was nominated for a Grammy in 2002 and has a recently published biography, titled One Man’s Blues: The Life and Music of Mose Allison.
His style has been described as a blend of jazz and blues, but any such description is too vague to adequately pin down his sound. It is not only that his sources of inspiration are far-reaching (including Bela Bartok and Nat King Cole) or that he has brought the various elements together. Mose has turned his various influences into a personal style that evades any classification.
Since Allison’s music cannot be so clearly attached to any one style, musicians from all walks have found his songs appealing. His songs have been played and recorded by a wide spectrum of artists, from the Clash to Bonnie Rait to Diana Krall.
Imitation may be the best form of flattery, but nothing can replace Mose playing his own music. The 77-year-old still tours with his trio quite a bit, landing next Sunday in Dayton.
He sets an example for aspiring young musicians.
- Today at 4:30 p.m. the Serious Young Musicians perform at Gilly’s, 132 S. Jefferson St., Dayton. Admission: $6.
- Next Sunday at 8 p.m. The Mose AllisonTrio is at Gilly’s. Admission: $15.50 Call 228-8414 for tickets.
© Dayton Daily News 2004