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Moondog The Viking of Sixth Avenue

Like Sun Ra, Lee Perry and composer Harry Partch, Moondog was an eccentric visionary that pushed the outer limits of recorded sound. A multi-instrumentalist and occasional vocalist from Kansas that lost his eyesight to dynamite at age 16, Moondog arrived in New York in 1944, living on the street, donning elaborate Viking hats, and fashioning homemade instruments. He began releasing astoundingly individual self-produced work from 1949, much of it incorporating Native American rhythms, and was also one of the first to experiment with rudimentary overdubs using two tape machines. These 36 short vignettes, drawn from his lengthy career, are infinitely fascinating slices of abstract jazz: there are vocal rounds, drumming puns, double-bass duels and more-in short, essential listening.

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