Mose Allison has been called “the William Faulkner of jazz”, in part because of the literary nature of his lyrics, in part because his work so poignantly embodies the Southern experience, and, in no small part, because he is a great writer masquerading as just-plain-folks. He is a “road warrior” in the classic jazz tradition, working the clubs and concerts from coast to coast, month to month. He believes he has “over-recorded” and has little or no faith in the machinery of the music industry, specifically the record business, to deliver or care for his message. And his message, itself, is somewhat hard to pin down because it moves as Mose does, from town to town, year to year. It grows with him and is fleshed out by the dozens of characters that have appeared in his writing, from the “Wild man on the loose” to the father wondering “How much truth can a man stand, looking at his teenage daughter, just another lamb for slaughter...” He has honed the fine art of masquerade by presenting the truth; he says his songs are not about him, but nobody else can deliver them so simply and make the listener feel that something so profound has happened. Perhaps his style is best summed up by a blurb from one of his middle-period recordings: “More words of wisdom,” it read, “from the jazz sage.” He hates that blurb.