Birdsongs of the Mesozoic with Oral Moses Extreme Spirituals

Extreme Spirituals is a unique recording that transcends all of the genres it contains within its smorgasbord of jazz and electronic infused traditional African-American spirituals. Birdsongs of the Mesozoic are an avant-garde experimental new music group founded by Roger Miller (Mission of Burma, who has since left the band), that are acclaimed for their fusion of classical/traditional forms with more modern influences such as punk, garage, pop and rock. Here they are joined by bass baritone Oral Moses, a scholar and interpreter of African-American spirituals. Moses’ vocal ability is affecting, to say the least; he can sound both terrifyingly powerful and vulnerable, yearning and exposed. The strongest tracks are undoubtedly "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” and "Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” both somewhat minimalist in instrumentation when compared to the rest of the album. On the former, Moses’ drawn out lamentations are poignantly accompanied by Ken Field’s haunting flute. Despite these two successful songs, a record featuring Oral Moses singing a cappella or accompanied with sparse acoustic instrumentation would be far more moving and interesting. (Cuneiform)