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Finnegans Wake - The Bird And The Sky Above CD (album) cover

THE BIRD AND THE SKY ABOVE

Finnegans Wake

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.16 | 17 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars Well, with the previous two albums, Krutzen & Co had managed their own specific sound and done quality albums, so everything looked good for the following album that was still recorded in Brazil, where the band had relocated. But alas, the group fell apart with only Henri remaining as original member, and TBatSA is released on yet another label (the fifth in six albums), this time the Brazilian Fazzul. But the real surprise is the complete change of musical scope. Gone is the attractive chamber prog of Blue and 4th, and in comes this free-form improvs - at least it sounds like it to these ears, although a musicologist would probably find some composed passages.

In either case, whether written or improvised, The Bird is very much a departure from the usual FW soundscapes. The album consist of of a single piece (the title track), divided in six parts depicting the landscapes of our flying friends. FW was often borderline dissonant in their previous album, but here they might be better described as rarely-sonant, if you get my drift. Indeed while the album starts out (with the Soft Dreaming first part) slow enough to describe an early dawn with Johnson's flute, Henri's piano is directly dissonant, but this is composed music, no doubt even if the trumpet and sax go wildly weird, bouncing around in your room. The second instalment called First Flight is collaboration between Henri and Onofre (who takes over the piano) and sounds even more dissonant. The silde trumpet (?) and the sax are singing out the birdsongs over un-rhythmic percussions. More of the same for the Onofre-penned Walking On The Ground and the following Stealing On The picnic Table, where the group is joined by Strauss' bass sax (I suppose a cross between the baritone sax and the bassoon). As you can imagine, Dark Clouds is much wilder and noiusy as our flying superhero defies and survives the demented forces of nature.

I'm not exactly sure why Krutzen made this album a FW one, instead of a solo album?.. because TBatSA doesn't remotely sound close to anything the group had released so far, despite always having a dissonant facet. Approach with much caution, and I'd even advise to avoid itif you're not that friendly with freer forms of music.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |

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