Sylvain Rifflet and Jon Irabagon, Perpetual Motion: A Celebration of Moondog, Jazz Village CD/DVD ***
The music of blind street composer Louis Thomas Hardin (1916-1999), “The Viking of Sixth Avenue”, aka Moondog, recalled here on this live album from saxophonists Rifflet and Irabagon, a small group, and even a children’s choir in a sprawling project, one that splutters with energy, which was premiered at the 2013 Banlieues Blues festival in Paris. Moondog remains as ever a curiosity. On this reading it’s easy to gauge his cross-genre appeal spanning jazz and contemporary classical music, one that draws magpie-like on a huge range of styles that include most tellingly from a jazz point of view anyway Mingus-like compositional methods inventively steered by the saxophonists and ensemble, the music arranged by Rifflet whose international reputation his efforts here will do him the power of good. Rifflet and Irabagon play Paris tomorrow.