Friday, July 5, 2013

Antoine Fafard Occultus Tramitis Unicorn 2013

A six string virtuoso with a release that packs a percussive punch!
 Brent Black / @CriticalJazz

Bassist and composer Antoine Fafard has dropped his second solo effort with such progressive talent as drummers Terry Bozio, Chad Wackerman and Dave Weckl to add some rhythmic pop to a back to the future release of progressive fusion. Progressive fusion may be a misleading label as this release was composed as one work with an effortless movement between genres and styles creating a more organic world music approach that unlike similar  efforts does not have the tendency to strip the listener's musical gears.

Additional guests include Tribal Tech guitarist Scott Henderson along with another titan behind the drum kit in Simon Phillips. Violinist Jerry Goodman from Mahavishnu Orchestra fame is prominent throughout this release adding a special eclectic flair to perhaps a new if not cutting edge sound for fusion players everywhere. "Metamorphosis" is a study in poly rhythms and lyrical intensity. Martin Maheux and Magella  Cormier are the featured drummers on the left and right channels respectively and give a master class is syncopated splendor as Fafad shows off his amazing versatility on both bass and classical guitar. Bass players take note, without question Antoine Fafard is the real deal! "Prelude No. 2 in C Minor" is a bass duet riff on the "Prelude" from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. Classical electric bass is a bit of a rarity but an entire release exploring the classical would seem well within the wheelhouse of perhaps the finest bassist that most of us may not be familiar with - yet. "Funkevil" is a funk infused ditty with a pounding bass line and another inspiring performance from violinist Jerry Goodman.

As arguments on genre and what constitutes legitimate fusion continue, one fact remains clear. Progressive fusion didn't die. Instead, progressive fusion has been hiding out in the jazz witness protection program with Antoine Fafard apparently holding the location as a closely guarded secret. Occultus Tramitis should have heads spinning in his direction in short order. There are a million bass players in the naked city...Antoine Fafard is a name to remember.

Tracks: Peace for 4; The Chamber; 13 Good Reasons; Sum of Six; Holding Back Time; Fur & Axe; Funkevil; Tree O; Slydivan; Methamorphosis; Prelude No. 2 in C Minor.

Personnel: Antoine Fafard: bass & classical guitar; Jerry Goodman: violin; Gavin Harrison: drums; Scott Henderson: electric guitar; Dave Weckl: drums; Simon Phillips: drums; Jean-Pierre Zanella: saxophone & flute; Jerry De Villiers Jr.: electric guitar; Chad Wackerman: drums; Terry Bozio: drums; Martin Maheux: drums; Sylvain Bolduc: bass; Emmanuelle Caplette: drums; Denis Labrosse: drums; Magella Cormier: drums.