There are groups that pick up the instruments of jazz and apply methodologies of experimental and progressive rock bands to the tools on hand. Supplying a punk spirit, solid musical knowledge and honed technique, these artists give us new, exciting and even challenging sounds. One of the first and most long-lived of such groups is the hoary patriarchs of avant-jazz, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. The presence of neo-classical composers Erik Lindgren and Ken Field gives the current lineup a refined, sophisticated sound. Their new album is Petrophonics (Cuneiform Records). Here the group’s inventive instrumental compositions mix rock, jazz and post-classical performed on guitar, saxophones, acoustic grand piano and more.

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