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Birdsongs of the Mesozoic

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BIRDSONGS OF THE MESOZOIC: The Iridium Controversy (CD on Cuneiform Records)

This CD from 2003 features 61 minutes of chamber music in a rock template.

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic is: Erik Lindgren on piano and organ, Ken Field on saxophones, flute, and percussion, Rick Scott on synthesizer, piano and percussion, and Michael Bierylo on guitar. Additional musicians for this recording include: Larry Dersch, Terry Donahue, Roger Miller, Eric Paul and Ken Winokur.

Striking and versatile keyboards provide a durable foundation for nimble percussion and evocative horns. Sneaky electronics peek from between the notes, adding modern flourish to the stately melodies. Crisp guitar riffs emerge to dance in the air like released wisps of stellar plasma, adding a blazing spectacle to the passionate whole. Flute strains spiral and cavort, enunciating fanciful passages that incite floral growth.

Often staccato in delivery, the keyboards sway and bend with cheerful frolic. Grand piano conspires with progrock organ to achieve a full scope of keyed timbre. The percussion is intricate but not overwhelmingly busy. Horns belt out with a fervor that resounds with majesty, transforming a concert hall into a breathtaking grotto of antediluvian sandstone. The guitar sears its way through this antique pastiche, torching chords with vivid ardor and illuminating the stage with emphatic determination.

The compositions are stunning, drawing equally upon rock and classical roots and administering these opposing mind-sets into instrumental songs that push the envelope of the progrock genre well past that staid fashion. The result is a fresh sound that invigorates as it hypnotizes, stimulating brain cells that conventional music fails to reach.

The band has a masterful way of achieving classical overtones that are ripe with modern sensibilities. A touch of intellectual jazz lurks in the tuneage, acting as a novel counterpart for the hints of minstrel flair. All of these modes and styles are applied to accomplish a sound that combines primordial and futuristic dispositions, producing a unique musical experience.

This CD features stunning cover art by grand master Roger Dean (of Yes fame). For more information on Dean's art (and posters of this CD's cover) go here.

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