BIRDSONGS OF THE MESOZOIC: Dancing on A’A (Cuniform Rune)
The Boston-based Birdsongs have revamped their lineup and moved slightly to the right … left … somewhere, but they have moved. Whereas their old sound tended toward circular or spiral keyboard patterns, this new material moves along intersecting straight lines, creating angular melodies as well as a good amount of dissonance. The new members being a guitarist, a flute and sax player, the music has sharper edges and ventures much farther into jazz and rock territory but retains its base in the modern classical use of repetition. A few cuts maintain the old song patterns but use the new instrumentation for a fresh sound. This album is easy to listen to because the songs sound composed even when they move in unpredictable directions, whereas improvised music is often a difficult listen. A good reference point might be “Gravity”— era Fred Frith. The traditional silly-cover-song role is filled here by a slightly cheesy rendition of “Peter Gunn”.