aus / from: TOP MAGAZINE (

Self taught, blind US minimalist composer MOONDOG (aka Louis Hardin) took up his pen name in 1947 in honour of a pet dog "who used to howl at the moon more than any dog I knew of". Thus began a long musical career which saw the composer release his music on such labels as Brunswick, Prestige and Columbia before moving to Germany where he eventually passed away in September 1999. Moondog is probably best remembered for the two albums he recorded for Columbia in the '60s. Or as the street musician in full Viking garb who could usually be found hanging around outside the New York Hilton, passers-by being unaware that he had previously studied with jazz legend Charlie Parker and had one of his songs covered by rock diva Janis Joplin. Few, however, will be aware of his later work which he recorded in Germany for his partner Ilona Goebel's KOPF label, four of which have just been reissued. In Europe**** features his work for string quartet, A New Sound Of An Old Instrument**** is his haunting exploration of the pipe organ, while Elpmas**** features environmental rhythms and gently rocking marimbas. Equally exhilarating is Sax Pax For A Sax****, one of Moondog's last works where he is joined by the London Saxophonic Mass in a tribute to sax inventor Adolphe Sax on the centenary of his death. Here the entwined spirits of Bird and Lester Young can be heard wailing in a work that is reminiscent of Hardin's 1969 debut for Columbia. Despite being tethered next to the likes of Steve Reich and Philip Glass, Moondog was a true original who has been lost from the world forever.