Is it just me or are the original compositions on Command LPs almost always the best and most adventurous? Here is one my all-time favorite Command recordings. A far-out, moogy masterpiece by Hyman. It's about 8 minutes long, not nearly as pop as the rest of the record, and totally brilliant. According to the liner notes, Kolumbo was improvised on the Moog and the Maestro Rhythmaster, "a mechanical drum device," fed through a Echoplex-tape reverberation unit. Improvised Moog? Is that possible? This is very strange stuff. From the liner notes: "[...] there is an effect of a battery of African drummers following an improvised soloist. The listener can provide his own scenario of what seems to be a musical battle, as a second soloist abruptly materializes, challenging the first man. At the end, the original soloist states a brief epilogue, packs up his horn, and splits."
I couldn't possibly say that this is the best version of the old MacLen chestnut (there are simply too many of them out there for me to ever hear them all), but it probably qualifies as one of the most original. Hyman's virtuoso keyboard skills were already quite reknowned, but on this album he tackled an entirely different animal...the harpsichord. On this track, he starts out using the harpsichord in a very conventional fashion, performing a baroque solo. About two-thirds of the way into the song, however, comes a drastic slowing of the tempo, the bass & drums come in and it mutates into a jazz trio arrangement! He even plays solos on the 'chord that make it sound like a Hammond organ...absolutely amazing!! Much of this album is rather difficult to listen to, but when it's good, it's sublime.