Like those other musical expeditionaries, Harry Partch and Sun Ra, Moondog was an American Primitive whose seemingly rudimentary sounds disguised a music of extraordinary complexity and individuality. Originally a bohemian fixture of New York, Moondog - real name Louis Hardin - was a blind street-busker whose godlike, white-bearded countenance was augmented by Viking-horned helmet, monkish robes and wooden spear. He was the kind of character you might cross the road to avoid, except that the tricky, syncopated rhythms he picked out upon his portable percussion devices had an infectious quality that ensured he always drew a crowd. Like the fellow hobo Partch, he invented his own instruments, such as the Trimba, Oo, Yukh and Tuji, and devised a musical form which reflected both his classical training and more primitive, elemental rhythms - in his case inspired by Native American beats. This compilation mingles Moondog's basic percussion pieces with his reed-based classical and jazz compositions, which recall the early works of Sun Ra.
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