Such is the case with Mose Allison, now 82, with his new album The Way of the World (Anti). It's his first outing of new studio material since 1997, and it's such a joy to hear his biting wit ("I Know You Didn't Mean It") and his still-spectacular piano playing.
His voice is definitely rougher now, but that was already beginning to show on the two volumes of Mose Chronicles, recorded live in London in 2000 and issued 2001-02.
It's been a shorter wait between releases for the Holmes Brothers (three years), yet I was wondering about their status, too--they've responded with Feed My Soul (Alligator), another straight-ahead, graceful affair produced by their longtime friend Joan Osborne.
I read that Popsy Dixon had been battling cancer, and there's a sense of how precious life is throughout. Feed My Soul encompasses a typical Holmes Brothers menu of blues, gospel and other tunes (the best Beatles cover I've heard in a long time, "I'll Be Back"), that somehow blend stylistically and still manage to stand on their own.
The year is definitely shaping up as a fine one for new music. Will anybody buy it?