Unicorn Digital 2014
From here to eternity? Bass savant runs headlong into percussive paradise.
Education is a good thing, yet while it added depth to this Quebecois artist’s oeuvre, his approach to composition has started to turn too academic. And it’s not only Latin title given to the third Fafard album in a row, as “Ad Perpetuum” doesn’t follows 2013’s "Occultus Tramitis" down a melodic path but explores rhythm only to often cede before Antoine’s sparring partner Vinnie Colaiuta, especially when the latter engages in a drumming duel with Gary Husband on the sax-embroidered “D-Day”.
“The Egg” flexes its muscle in jazzy, progressive way, though, and opener “Shuffle It!” is a pure fusion fantasy, as Jerry De Villiers Jr’s guitar weaves around Fafard’s elastic six-string bass sway. Yet when the similar bliss sets in “Riff & Raft” to dissipate into a blizzard of notes, to which Gerry Etkins adds an ivory lining, the magic gets broken. Back with the main man’s classical lace on “Same But Different” and “Eternal Loop”, the pieces’ elegiac tone provides a vast canvas for laidback virtuosity in the service of mood, but once it gains pace superficiality threatens to drown the drift again. Somewhat lacking spontaneity, here’s hoping the “Ad Perpetuum” phase won’t become a permanent state.