***BREAKING STRIDE WITH THE LARGE COLLECTION WE'VE BEEN WORKING THROUGH, BUT WILL BE BACK TO THAT WITH A HUGE BATCH OF RARE JAZZ VOCAL LPS IN THE COMING WEEKS. RIGHT NOW WE'VE GOT A ONE-TIME BATCH OF 80+ VERY RARE ORIGINAL JAZZ LPS & ACETATESâ€¦
ARTIST : MOONDOG
TITLE : SNAKETIME SERIES
LABEL & CATALOG NUMBER : CRESCENT / TV 19318 & 19319
FORMAT : 10inch
COVER CONDITION : VG- thin fragile hand-assembled cover, with printed artwork mounted to a plain manila envelope. this copy has significant hand-penciled embellishments, front & back, likely made by the original graphic artist (fully detailed below). various stains, discoloration, bends, and seam wear, with one small area of paper loss to the printed art lower right corner between 'album' and '2'. overall, considerable signs of age but no major damage, still presentably intact after 60+ years.
VINYL CONDITION : VG nice glossy, thick vinyl. surface scuffs & a few scratches, one of which is slightly feelable but causes only minor sound. three or four small pressing flaw lumps in the vinyl, one of which at start of the last track on side one causes the stylus to stick on one of my systems, and causes the stylus to jump but not stick on my other system. turntable adjustments may improve play, but expect significant 'thumps' in this small area, at best. otherwise, condition is solid & playback is quite good, with some surface noise & minor ticks throughout. this is a loud well-cut mono record with a warm, clear & direct fidelity that is a treat spin. both labels are clean with just a couple spindle marks either side. HEAR IT below.
NOTES : this copy is the only known COMPLETE ORIGINAL PRESSING WITH COVER of this impossibly rare MOONDOG release, a significant missing link in the official moondog discography.
this is the so-called "BOB LINDER" copy : a commercially pressed 33rpm 10" vinyl record, not an acetate or shellac, with professionally printed labels & cover. the printed cover art shows lead pencil embellishments on the front, and 4 crude original pencil sketches on the back - the bearded moondog, his shoe, two of his instruments.
release date remains unknown, but all of our research indicates that this 10" was released between 1953 & 1955, at least a year before moondog's 1956 'SNAKETIME SERIES' lp on his own MOONDOG RECORDS label. all 8 tracks appear here for the first time. none of this material overlaps with the earlier '49-'50 era SMC label 78s or with the EPIC, BRUNSWICK, and MARS label releases from '53. these are true 1st pressings, the earliest released versions of seminal material that would later be reissued, and in some cases retitled, on the eponymous maroon/silver 'SNAKETIME SERIES' lp on MOONDOG RECORDS and the 3 PRESTIGE label lps. this information is supported by the research of wolfgang gnida, curator of moondogâ€™s corner website.
audio quality is quite high, with a warm, clear, direct fidelity that indicates early master tape sources. to our ears, the audio on this CRESCENT 10" is noticeably superior to all subsequent reissues of these tracks on the MOONDOG and PRESTIGE labels.
in all likelihood, very few copies of the CRESCENT 10" were privately pressed by moondog as a predecessor or prototype of the 1956 'SNAKETIME SERIES' lp on moondog records. no specific information exists to explain the spectacular rarity of the CRESCENT 10", but we may speculate that it was scrapped before completion, with no copies actually sold or distributed. we know that another jazz label named CRESCENT RECORDS already existed at the time, which may have posed legal barriers. we also know that there were obvious problems with the completed printed covers, as we believe the cover artist himself made clear on this hand embellished copy. it seems likely that some unfortunate combination of these factors, combined with a significant surge in demand for product shortly after his first major label releases, may all have contributed to moondog's complete abandonment of this release in favor of establishing the larger moondog records label.
the CRESCENT 10" was recorded by LOUIS & BEBE BARRON at their SOUND PORTRAITS (aka BARRON SOUND STUDIOS) studio in greenwich village, NY - the production credit is printed on the label. the barron's were pioneers of electronic music & experimental recording techniques, best known for their 1956 soundtrack to 'FORBIDDEN PLANET', the first entirely electronic film score. in our current listings for 2 rare moondog acetates, we review the evidence of a strong creative relationship between moondog and the barronâ€™s, possibly culminating in the sessions that produced the CRESCENT 10â€, which we believe to be moondogâ€™s earliest effort to launch his own lunar-inflected music label.
two copies of the CRESCENT 10" are known to exist : one without a cover and the complete copy offered here. in the 1996 auction blurb (reprinted on the moondogâ€™s corner site) that first offered the BOB LINDER copy, the cover is mistakenly described as an â€œoriginal pencil drawing.â€ in fact, the cover presents a professionally printed image pasted on a blank manila envelope, then penciled over in selected areas and boldly signed â€œBOB LINDER.â€ this is a crucial clarification because a fully hand-drawn cover would suggest either a preliminarysketch of the 1956 maroon/silver dog-in-the-moon cover or a DIY artifact created afterthe fact, presumably by a moonstruck fan named bob linder. printed artwork, however, eliminates both possibilities, and establishes the CRESCENT 10" as a legitimate limited production release with a wonderful program of all-new material.
to the best of our knowledge, the CRESCENT 10" dates from 1953 to 1955, and certainly predates all releases on the moondog label, its reborn successor. examination of the cover art may yield another clue regarding date and the identity of bob linder. we find the heaviest pencil tracings around the large name of 'MOONDOG' center front. inspection reveals that moondogâ€™s name, as originally printed white-on-gray, would be almost imperceptible, appearing as faint as the un-retouched line of clouds connecting the â€˜Mâ€™ and â€˜Gâ€™ beneath the name â€˜MOONDOG.â€™ the artistâ€™s printed initials - possibly a stylized H - lower right corner also have been penciled over, along with the dogâ€™s tail. also in pencil, but not outlining any printed artwork, are a â€˜2â€™ in the bottom right margin, the 4 back cover sketches of moondog etc, and of course the name â€˜BOB LINDERâ€™ bottom center.
in light of the selective pencil revisions, apparently designed to reinforce the cover image with stronger contrasts, our theory proposes that bob linder was not a random doodler but the original cover artist, making this the artistâ€™s copy of the CRESCENT 10" jacket. we notice similarity in the deliberate labored style of florid handwriting in all three signatures : â€œbob linder,â€ the initials on the CRESCENT 10" artwork, and â€œDESIGN BY HAWKâ€ on the 'SNAKETIME SERIES' lp. all three could possibly be linder. we know that LOUIS HARDIN coined the name MOONDOG in 1947 after his moon-howling pet dog LINDY. we could only guess that LINDY and LINDER are somehow related.
this is informed conjecture, of course, but represents at least one plausible explanation of the scattered evidence. if true, the â€˜BOB LINDERâ€™ copy here is a sort of artistâ€™s proof-in-progress showing the unsatisfactory CRESCENT 10" cover with linderâ€™s penciled revisions and additional sketches, a process that would culminate in 1956 with the bold high-contrast rendering of the dog-in-the-moon motif on the maroon/silver 'SNAKETIME SERIES' lp jacket.
to conclude, the CRESCENT 10â€ is not a one-off or DIY project, but a professionally fully produced release pressed on vinyl (not an acetate) with printed record labels & cover art. it is the correct 1st pressing for all of its content and a pivotal missing link in the moondog discography. in the lower right margin we find the printed word â€˜ALBUMâ€™ next to a hand-drawn â€˜2â€™, suggesting that the CRESCENT 10" may have been planned either a two-record set or as a limited numbered release, this being copy #2 of two copies known to exist, and one of one that is complete.
please let us know if you have any additional information.
please LISTEN to various audio samples below, unaltered & taken directly from the actual 10" listed :
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