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The jazz genre spawned a couple of quite colorful subspecies that were part of important pop cultural movements to let the ordinary man escape from the daily grind. Two of the most prolific pop jazz spheres were Exotica Music which accompanies with the Tiki Culture omnipresent throughout the 50s and early 60s and Space Age Music, a rather pop oriented accessible style with hints of swing and vocal jazz spiced up with quite mind altering sound effects. “Moon gas”, a cooperation between pianist / organist Dick Hyman and singer Mary Mayo, hits the center of the space age genre directly and shows a diversity of aspects from rather dreamy tunes with melancholic and really haunting vocal melodies courtesy of Mrs. Mayo to groovy, swinging compositions that invite you for an easy dance. Still you have to turn your mind from all these strange little sounds that whistle and sparkle around the rather uncomplicated easy listening jazz pop compositions. The songs alone would certainly be on par with the best contemporary hit tunes of their age but what really makes them outstanding is this combination with the sound world of a space laboratory or commando bridge of a starship. 1963 definitely was a year where the USA found themselves in a challenge with the Soviet Union about the predominance in space so this type of music fit well with the dreams of the average man to explore distant galaxies even it was only in his mind. About six or seven years later when psychedelic rock had reached a peak and the music was ready to leave the earth behind these early sounds were developed into space rock by groups such as Hawkwind. In 1963 we are still far away from this and what Dick Hyman, Mary Mayo and their fellow, yet unnamed band members create is a rather smooth and calm affair that still pushes your mind towards certain borders of reality. All these funny noises transport you into a world of huge computers with flashing lights onboard of interstellar space ships traveling from one galaxy to the next. You will get a feeling that this album contains nothing but vocal jazz music with a cooled down temper beyond all the arrangements of bleeping, rattling and swooshing. But I am certain you will be enchanted by all the sweet melodies right away and soon drift into a futuristic dream when you spin this little record. The musicians interact tight and professional while Mary Mayo sings with a very distinctive and harmonic style which pets your senses. If you want to take a relaxed trip to the stars I invite you to grab a copy of this classic album.