Antoine Fafard – Sphère (Timless Momentum, 2016)
Virtuoso bassist and composer Antoine Fafard never ceases to surprise. On every album he invites some of the finest musicians in the jazz-rock fusion world. The guests on his fourth album, Sphère, are British drummer and keyboardist Gary Husband, and his regular collaborator, guitar maestro Jerry De Villiers Jr.
Sphère is progressive jazz-rock of the highest order, with masterful performances by all musicians. Fafard extracts such a rich palette of sounds from his bass that it’s a true delight for electric bass fans. Guitarist Jerry De Villiers Jr. deserves more international recognition. He delivers a wide-range of electric guitar styles, ranging from Alan Holdsworth-style rapid progressions to delicate beautiful passages and effects.
Gary Husband is the great discovery for me. His vibrant creative drumming is outstanding and a joy to listen to. He’s just as good with the piano and synth solos. The fast synth melodic bursts are spectacular and some of the best synth jazz-rock solos I’ve heard recently.
The regular edition of Sphère has 9 fabulous pieces. Fafard has also released a limited edition CD with 3 bonus tracks, in a digipack with 32 pages with photos of the recording sessions.
Sphère delivers unrelenting jazz-rock energy, as well as a lot of tight ensemble interchange. Highly recommended.