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Tuesday, May 25 2010 | 11:59 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

By 1956, the early New York street recordings of the great Moondog had reached British shores. His primitive percussive sounds struck a new nerve with many artists and musicians, none more so that fine London jazzman Kenny Graham. So inspired was he by these extraordinary recordings that he decided to bring together a band of top notch session men and pay his very own musical homage. The result is this exceptionally rare and unique 1957 album of Moondog covers (Moondog Suite) and Graham’s own complimentary compositions (Suncat Suite). Engineered by a young Joe Meek and starring Stan Tracey, Phil Seamen, Danny Moss, Ivor Slaney, soaring vocalise and a host of strange instruments this was a truly unique cocktail of sound and musical vision. The result is an exotic, ethereal and timeless recording that will inspire, haunt, beguile and charm for many years to come.

The recording has remained unissed since 1957, when it was forst pressed on HMV records, and probably sold about 6 copies. I came across it when I was looking into the lost film music of Kenny Graham, and relaised that this was an album worth investigating. Think about it; Moondog, British jazz and Joe Meek all at the same time, and to top it all musically it’s very fine indeed. Little Bert currently goes to sleep listening to it. He’s 4.

Before the release I looked into using the classic painting “Dog Barking At The Moon” by Jean Miro that featured on the original album sleeve, but modern fees and licensing laws stood firmly in the way. So instead we improvised in a sort of 50s way, just like Graham would have done. What’s most important of all though is that this magical recording now exists again. It’s not jazz as we know it, it’s not really anything as we know it. It’s just an otherworldy recording that belongs in your world now.

Jonny Trunk, February 2010


– Moondog Suite

01. One Four
02. 2 West 46th Street
03. Two four
04. Chant
05. Three Four
06. Utsu
07. Four four
08. Lullaby
09. Five four
10. Fog On The Hudson

– Suncat Suite

11. Sunrise
12. Sunbeam
13. Tropical Sun
14. Sunstroke
15. Sunset
16. Sunday

This release comes complete with the original 1957 sleevenotes, and a biography of Kenny Graham.

The album Kenny Graham And His SatellitesMoondog And Suncat Suites” (Trunk Records) has been released May 21, 2010.

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