Birdsongs of the Mesozoic

Faultline

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This was the first Birdsongs of the Mesozoic album to be released after the departure of keyboardist and founding member Roger Miller. He was briefly replaced by reedman Steve Adams, who left before the completion of Faultline to join ROVA, a San Francisco-based saxophone quartet. Saxophonist Ken Field stepped in to take his place, helped to finish the album, and subsequently became a permanent member of the band. The addition of reed instruments marked a fundamental change in the band's sound. Instead of a rather architectural, if raw, sound based on the interaction of twin keyboards, Birdsongs of the Mesozoic began to sound a little bit jazzier, if no less structurally rigorous and aggressive. On "Coco Boudakian," guitarist Martin Swope sounds uncannily like Arto Lindsay; the title track rocks out in a blocky but complex way. But there are several moments of serene beauty as well, in particular the limpid Steve Adams composition that ends the program. Highly recommended.

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