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Sax Pax for a Sax

Moondog

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Album Review

As the name implies, this album consists of pieces composed with the saxophone in mind. Nine saxophonists in all (from the London Saxophonic) pitch in on the disc, which also features some piano, folk-rock vet Danny Thompson on contra bass, several percussionists, piano, and occasional ensemble vocals; Moondog himself contributes bass drum, bongos, and (as a member of the ensemble) vocals throughout. In its swaying (at times even sing-along) melodicism, intricate arrangements, and light bounce, it's strongly reminiscent of his excellent 1969 Moondog album; in fact, "Bird's Lament" makes an appearance on both records. This is more enjoyable, toe-tapping, and life-affirming than most any other jazz or avant-garde music around in the 1990s, demonstrating that Moondog's talents remain undimmed in his eighties; it's impossible to hear the ebullient choral vocals on "Paris" without smiling.

Customer Reviews

A gem

I was introduced to the music of Moondog when I was very young when my parents bought his eponymous album from 1969 (already several years old before it reached my household). I grew up listening to it and and enjoy very much it to this day. This album from 25 years later sounds a little bit more mainstream, and perhaps somewhat more polished. I can't say I like it more than the other earlier album, because I give both 5 stars, but this one is I believe more mature, mellow and at times more soulful. Maybe that is because it's dominated by the saxophone. Whatever the case may be, I think it's excellent.

Biography

Born: May 26, 1916 in Marysville, KS

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

A mostly self-taught composer, Louis Hardin was born in Marysville, KS on May 26, 1916. The family eventually moved to Wyoming, where his father, who had been an Episcopalian minister, opened a trading post at Fort Bridger, and had two different ranches. Young Hardin went to school in a log cabin in Burnt Fork, WY, and fished, hunted, and trapped. Later, he rode a horse to school in Long Tree, a cattle community. He wrote that his first drum set " ...at the age of five, was a cardboard box". He also...
Full Bio