A very welcome addition to Honest Jons’ magnificent Viking Of Sixth Avenue, More Moondog brings together two impossibly rare key albums from the late 50s. Street noises, foghorns, tap-dancing and a howling dog all add to the unique atmosphere, primal rhythms and unusual structures of these scarcely-heard Moondog compositions.
The first half of the compilation is oddly percussive, down to the fact that Moondog’s using trimba, oo, tuji and ostrich feathers as noisemakers. Later, the signature American Indian-style chants appear, as do the melancholy vocal multi-tracks, and there’s a surprising visit from a piano. A long monologue flows nicely into the magical musical adventure Up Broadway, which for us is the jewel in this particular album’s Viking helmet.
To sum up this great release is hard – it’s street jazz, classical, ethnographical and sometimes all three at the same time. There really is no one else quite like Moondog and, if you don’t know him yet, here’s your best chance to get acquainted.