Album Review

Moondog – “The Viking of Sixth Avenue” – [Honest Jons]

Numa   3/30/2006   CD, Jazz

Jazz Percussion Genius. A comprehensive look at the musical career of Moondog a.k.a Louis Thomas Hardin. Mostly short pieces from early in his career when he was homeless in New York playing for money on street corners with his custom-made triangle drums (Trimba). He was lucky enough to find a few visionaries to help get his music recorded. Blind for most of his life and dressing like a viking after he was said to have looked like Jesus, Moondog lived on the edges of society. Offered to play once at Carnigie Hall if he didn’t wear the viking outfit, he declined. He appeared with such luminaries as Janis Joplin, William S. Burroughs, Lenny Bruce, Allen Ginsberg and hailed by artists such as Philip Glass and Steve Reich as the originator of minimalism. The Native American influences in Moondog’s music are right up front and inviting. Let’s hope there are more reissues of Moondog’s early works, this type of musicianship shouldn’t be lost to old 78s in a garage. –Numa

Numa’s Picks: 7, 8, 12, 21, 24, 26

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