How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
An unanticipated surprise in the form of a new album is always welcome. And the star-studded cast of jazz, jazz fusion and progressive rock performers here is somewhat of an eye-opener, especially when considering that UK bassist Antoine Fafard (Spaced Out) is not a household name in the US. Gathering a supporting cast of this stature is no easy task. But, simply put, Fafard is a killer bassist, possessing gargantuan chops and an impressive compositional pen. With violinist Jerry Goodman
's roaring riffs on "The Chamber," featuring Weckl's super-speed polyrhythmic drum solo or "Holding Back Time," comprised of difficult time signatures, blazing unison runs and Goodman's soaring notes. Here, the musicians yield foreboding implications and an invigorating dynamic.
Fafard overlays classical and electric guitar on several tracks, while showing complete command of the electric bass via glimmering runs, corpulent bottoms or when harmonizing with Goodman or the lead guitarists. He kindles remembrances of Jaco Pastorius