Monday, February 18, 2008

Moondog "Moondog" (Prestige, 1956)

Artist: Moondog
Album: "Moondog"
Release Date: 1956
Label: Prestige
Genre: Avant-Garde, Minimalism, Modern-Composition, One-Of-A-Kind, Experimental
Mood: Provocative, Theatrical, Complex, Ethereal
Reminds Of: John Cage, Duke Ellington, Steve Reich
What People Think: RYM
Definitely Worth Buying: Amazon

1. Caribea
2. Lullaby
3. Tree Trail
4. Death, When You Come To Me
5. Big Cat
6. Frog Bog
7. To A Sea Horse
8. Dance Rehearsal
9. Surf Session
10. Trees Against The Sky
11. Tap Dance
12. Oo Debut
13. Drum Suite
14. Street Scene

By the standards of the mid-'50s, or indeed of any era, this was so far-out and uncommercial that it's difficult to believe it was even released. Moondog, by this time well known as a New York street musician, drives these pieces along with maraca and clava percussion, often in odd time signatures. The percussion lines are the backbone for unusual melodies, often Asian- or Japanese-inspired, with a movingly mournful (but not unappealing) quality. Washes of wind-like sounds and animal noises are often used to embellish the pieces. Bits of "Tree Trail" and "Frog Bog" even come close to exotica, but this ain't no Martin Denny (who, of course, was also using frog noises on record around this time); Moondog's music is much less frivolous in intention, and the round-like repetition that flavors all his work is present through most of this disc. To add to the unpredictability of the proceedings, there's a Japanese lullaby (sung by Moondog's wife Suzuko), a percussive duet between Moondog and tap dancer Ray Malone, tribal/Cuban drum passages, and a "Street Scene" track that mixes Moondog's drums and poetry with Manhattan traffic. All very enigmatic yet attention-holding stuff, ripe for discovery by new generations that will appreciate his defiantly idiosyncratic mix of styles and formats.

(source: AllMusicGuide)

Death when you come to me, I'll be listening to Moondog's tales...

Moondog's Corner...


myrkursoli said...

copy the link into your web browser

Death Of The Left Unfinished

Anonymous said...

This is just fabulous. Wild and eclectic. First I've heard of this man, what a guy!



Mohamad said...

Thanks a million ...looking for this record for a long time...I live in Iran and ...there s no sucjh thing as a music shop or so on so ....anyway ...I love you posts learned a lot