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The Viking Of Sixth Avenue


  • Label: Honest Jon's Records
  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Genres: Bboy Breaks, Instrumental, Jazz, Modal Jazz
  • Format: 2 x LP
  • Catalogue number: HJRLP18

Availability: In stock


Moondog learned rhythm from American Indians and counterpoint from J.S. Bach. Many of his recordings feature instruments he built himself: trimba, yukh, tuji, oo. Sometimes you can hear in the background the streets of New York, where Moondog often slept rough (even though blind, since an accident when he was 15).

Sometime in the 1950s, fed up with being mistaken on the street for Christ — his regular busking spot was uptown on Sixth — Moondog put on a Viking costume, with spear and horned helmet; and he dressed like this till the late 1970s (by which time he was working with orchestras in Germany).

Igor Stravinsky lobbied a judge on Moondog’s behalf. Charlie Parker wanted to play with him (Julie Andrews did play with him), and he was feted by Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando, Steve Reich. Andy Warhol’s mum designed one of his covers, and Weegee took photographs of him (included in the booklet). Janis Joplin covered him, Mr Scruff owes him badly, and Antony And The Johnsons does him live.

This is the first retrospective of Moondog’s music — thirty-six tracks from 1949 to 1995, most of them exceptionally rare and reissued now for the first time, all of them miraculous.

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The Viking Of Sixth Avenue



  1. Theme & Variations

  2. Down Is Up

  3. Bumbo

  4. Big Cat

  5. Oo Debut

  6. Lament 1 Bird's Lament

  7. Moondog's Symphony 1: Timberwolf

  8. Moondog's Symphony 2: Sagebrush

  9. Rabbit Hop

  10. Rimshot

  11. Snaketime Rhythm

  12. Instrumental Round

  13. Double Bass Duo

  14. Why Spend The Dark Night With You

  15. All Is Loneliness

  16. Snaketime Rhythm

  17. Dragon's Teeth

  18. Oboe Round

  19. Be A Hobo

  20. Dog Trot

  21. Oasis

  22. Avenue Of The Americas

  23. 2 W 46th Street

  24. Lullaby (2 W 46th Street)

  25. Fog On The Hudson (425 W 57th Street)

  26. Utsu

  27. On & Off The Beat

  28. Chant

  29. From On To Nine

  30. Improvisation In 4/4

  31. Enough About Human Rights!

  32. Viking I

  33. Rimshot

  34. Chaconne In G Major

  35. Oasis

  36. Invocation