The Artist/Album: Kenny Graham and His Satellites, Moondog and Suncat Suites (MGM, 1956)
A Short Review: If you’ve never heard Moondog before, this might not be the best place to start; the “Viking of 6th Avenue” inspired Kenny Graham’s color block compositions, but he played no direct part in them. That doesn’t make Trunk’s 2010 reissue of these rare British jazz recordings any less essential, though. Split into a 10-part “Moondog Suite”–loose and lively takes on Moondog’s infamous street performances–and a six-part “Suncat Suite” of complementary material, this all-too-brief album could pass for one of Madlib’s many jazz side projects. Manic and melodic in equal measure, with lots of replay value etched into every groove.