Extreme Spirituals: Birdsongs of the Mesozoic with Oral Moses

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
It says something about Birdsongs of the Mesozoic that even on an album like this one, which departs about as radically as one could possibly imagine from their usual repertoire, you can tell immediately that it's a Birdsongs of the Mesozoic album within the first eight bars of the first track. There's something about that staccato piano sound, or about the unison guitar-and-synth passages -- something that links very clearly this dramatically different album to its predecessors of the early '80s. What makes it so different is that it's a gospel album, one that pairs the rich, chesty baritone voice of Oral Moses and his repertoire of traditional hymns and spirituals with ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
It says something about Birdsongs of the Mesozoic that even on an album like this one, which departs about as radically as one could possibly imagine from their usual repertoire, you can tell immediately that it's a Birdsongs of the Mesozoic album within the first eight bars of the first track. There's something about that staccato piano sound, or about the unison guitar-and-synth passages -- something that links very clearly this dramatically different album to its predecessors of the early '80s. What makes it so different is that it's a gospel album, one that pairs the rich, chesty baritone voice of Oral Moses and his repertoire of traditional hymns and spirituals with the adventurous and sometimes experimental arrangements of Birdsongs of the Mesozoic. Given the band's long-held reputation as spiky avant-gardists, this doesn't seem like a promising collaboration, and indeed they seem to have decided early on that they weren't going to compromise on the denseness and complexity of their arrangements. What's surprising is how powerfully well the combination ends up working. Moses' voice turns out to be more than strong enough to stand up to the Birdsongs' sharp electric attack, and on tracks like "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho" with its charmingly anachronistic drum-machine sound and subtle hints of Hebrew melody and "A Little More Faith in Jesus" which features an instrumental bridge built out of interlocking minimalist parts, both elements seem to be firing each other up to greater heights of musical intensity. On the relatively soft and gentle "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" and a dark, intense arrangement of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," each party seems to have led the other to think in new ways about the source material. The result is an album rich with meaning and musical power.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/19/2006
  • Label: Cuneiform
  • UPC: 045775024127
  • Catalog Number: 750241
  • Sales rank: 158,896

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I'm a Rollin' - Oral Moses (5:32)
  2. 2 Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray - Oral Moses (3:24)
  3. 3 A Little More Faith in Jesus - Oral Moses (5:37)
  4. 4 Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child - Oral Moses (4:10)
  5. 5 Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho - Oral Moses (3:36)
  6. 6 Swing Low, Sweet Chariot - Oral Moses (4:18)
  7. 7 Listen to the Angels Shouting - Oral Moses (4:22)
  8. 8 Wayfaring Stranger, religious ballad - Oral Moses (4:14)
  9. 9 Great Day! - Oral Moses (5:05)
  10. 10 Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen - Oral Moses (5:13)
  11. 11 Oh Freedom - Oral Moses (4:43)
  12. 12 Amen - Oral Moses (5:22)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Birdsongs of the Mesozoic Primary Artist, Ensemble
Michael Bierylo Guitar
Erik Lindgren Piano
Larry Dersch Drums
Ken Field Flute, Percussion, Saxophone
Ken Winokur Djembe
Oral Moses Brass Baritone
Rick Scott Synthesizer
Terry Donahue Conga
Jason Marchionna Percussion
Technical Credits
Michael Bierylo Arranger, Programming, Engineer, Sound Design
Erik Lindgren Arranger, Engineer
Jonathan Wyner Mastering
Oral Moses Liner Notes
Diane Menyuk Graphic Design
Mark Chapman Copy Editing
Bill Banfield Liner Notes
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