Timeless Momentum 2015
Montreal guitarist digs deep into his archives to dust off gems of some vintage.
“Believe In Yourself” was the song that Ziggy Marley performed on the OST for the “Arthur” TV series, although Jerry De Villiers Jr, who co-wrote the piece, didn’t seem to follow its advice when it came to releasing the material logged by his TURNING POINT project in the ’90s, around the time he also contributed to the “Screamers” score. But now, with the six-stringer’s profile made more palpable thanks to his playing on Antoine Fafard’s "Ad Perpetuum", there’s a nice case for unearthing those recording, both 1994’s live ones and studio cuts from 1995.
The environment doesn’t matter there, instrumentals such as “When I See You” proffering powerful riffs cushioned with fusion filigree as Jerry adds an ivory lining to his fretwork, and transparent pieces like “Numb” revealing an exquisite texture to their melody, yet the vibrancy of “Raradina” has an extra layer of carnival energy when it’s given overdubs, while losing a bit of its on-stage, acoustically tinctured immediacy. Unlike it, a polished “Dog Dance” finds a delight in a piano improvisation where its concert prototype rams into a Hendrix wire on coda, and the jiving edge of “Bebhop Blues” possesses a street-smart groove which hides its sophistication under a smattering of dirt, but not before the audience, that welcomes a lot of technique on a techno display.
Still, the unison of “Last Man On Earth” feels most organic when it defies its title’s gravitation to kiss the sky, whereas “Casino” engages interplay in a gambling tournament. Here lies the real turning point of De Villiers Jr’s compositional wizardry. On to a new album now.