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ANTOINE FAFARD

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Canada


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Antoine Fafard biography
Antoine Fafard is already known in the fusion world for his work as bass player in the Canadian band Spaced Out. He also composes background music for television and performs as a session bass player. More recently, his renewed interest in the classical guitar inspired him to release his first solo album, Solus Operandi.

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Ad PerpetuumAd Perpetuum
Unicorn Digital Inc. 2014
Audio CD$9.62
$21.66 (used)
SphereSphere
Timeless Momentum 2016
Audio CD$8.85
$8.84 (used)
Solus OperandiSolus Operandi
Import
Unicorn Digital Inc. 2011
Audio CD$9.64
$61.99 (used)
Occultus TramitisOccultus Tramitis
Import
Unicorn Digital Inc. 2013
Audio CD$13.34
$24.54 (used)
Solus Operandi by Antoine Fafard (2011-11-01)Solus Operandi by Antoine Fafard (2011-11-01)
Unicorn Digital Inc.
Audio CD$58.56
Ad Perpetuum by Antoine FafardAd Perpetuum by Antoine Fafard
Unicorn Digital Inc.
Audio CD$57.76
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ANTOINE FAFARD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ANTOINE FAFARD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 19 ratings
Solus Operandi
2011
3.80 | 15 ratings
Occultus Tramitis
2013
4.67 | 14 ratings
Ad Perpetuum
2014
4.26 | 11 ratings
Sphére
2016

ANTOINE FAFARD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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ANTOINE FAFARD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ad Perpetuum by FAFARD, ANTOINE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.67 | 14 ratings

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Ad Perpetuum
Antoine Fafard Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Nothing better than a smouldering jazz-rock release, featuring a world class bassist, the optimum drummer currently playing and a previously somewhat unknown guitarist to really warm up the autumn night. Fine then, let's get French Canadian Antoine Fafard of Space Out fame, add the majestic and incomparable Vinny Colaiuta (the list is endless but let's name Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck, Sting, Joni Mitchell, Joe Satriani and even Megadeth) and finish off with Montreal axe slinger Jerry de Villiers Jr. Guests show up on keyboards and sax, as well as a cameo appearance from drummer Gary Husband who really impresses on one track. This recording must have some kind of Guinness record for most notes played, as the sheer amount is bewildering, the pace torrid at best and a whole lot of shaking going on throughout this mercurial set-list. Also interesting is that no track is longer than 5.52, yet each one jam- packed with juicy details and flurries of notes that will keep the focus within repeated future auditions. Antoine had a deadline of 3 months to compose, arrange and produce a new album, which constrained him to concentrate on the challenging prize. Because of this peculiar situation, the main core musicians all stayed within a narrow corridor of time and space, coordinating their efforts on an album scale and not only on a song level. This cohesion and devotion to the cause comes through very clearly.

"Shuffle It" wastes no time in setting the mood, the main instrumentalists welding their collective craft together: Colaiuta's pounding the measure clinically like the polyrhythmic monster that he is , Fafard looping masterfully , unafraid of traveling up and down his fret board and de Villiers flipping some delicious licks into the fire, stylistically inspired by the great Allen Holdsworth. It's a concussive, urban and flourishing arrangement, driven by purpose and as well as brute force.

Hyperactive like some long submerged Atlantean generator, "Riff & Raft" will garner rave reviews from those who enjoy stark contrasts between light and shade, emboldened by a slew of keyboard solos from Mr. Etkins, the synthesizer being slow and deliberate, burdened further by a funky slap bass from the man himself, while Jerry peels off a blistering slice of electric guitar phantasmagoria.

The highlight track here is the gargantuan "PolySeven", a totally flabbergasting slice of slick jazz-rock that stuns by its technicality, rating very high on the emotional thermometer, with explosive displays by the main three protagonists. Vinnie is just in a zone of utter rhythmic command, especially his monstrous bass drum work, Antoine scouring the sonic riverbed like some rapacious sturgeon and Jerry coloring the electric rainbows. I have not heard a drummer plays as fast and as well since legend Billy Cobham of Mahavishnu Orchestra fame. Kneeling at your shrine, man! After such a devastating tornado, a pool of relaxation is much needed and it is supplied in the form of "Same but Different", an oasis of serenity first developed by Antoine's sun-drenched bass excursions, shadowed up by a caravan of guitar exploits than rekindle fond memories of Holdsworthian marvels such as "Sand" and Vinnie emoting with some 'gentler' fills, drills and spills. Fafard also provides the classical guitar parts.

"Five Course Meal" is a sonic buffet to say the least, the electric guitar banquet clearly influenced by the legendary Andy Summers, what with those mega 'flick of the wrist' slashes that scour the arrangement but ultimately corkscrewed by a thrilling bass solo that will leave the listener gaga! Tortuous and sleazy, this is bass guitar heaven, just like vintage Percy Jones of Brand X or Tony Levin. Jaco should not be forgotten either, as Fafard is a mesmerizing chef of the highest order.

How about a drum duet, eh? Showcasing future drummer Gary Husband (who will man the kit as well as all the keys on Fafard's next opus, 2016's "Sphere") on the right channel and Vinnie on the left channel, "D-Day" is a saxophone orgy of the very best vintage, with guest JP Zanella blowing like an Omaha Beach gale storm, bullets flying, taking toll. Inspired by Vinnie being so sharp and honed, Husband bashes brilliantly.

Back to the future with the more dissonant and oblique "Eternal Loop", a sonic universe dedicated to stretching the parameters of creative jamming, leading Fafard to literally have his fingers dance all over the bass guitar in a manic callisthenic of bubbly notes , urging the crew onward to glittering heights , Gerry Etkins' keys in particular doing some intense soul searching. Vinnie is a true percussive octopus, a beastly union of Buddy Rich and the goddess Shiva, impregnable tentacles that suction cup every percussive object in sight. The guitar excursion seems to venture beyond the dark side of the moon, somewhere deep into the space beyond, invisible from Earth.

The Andy Summers-influenced "Slash One" has nothing to do with guns or roses for that matter, but rather more with taking another improvised roller coaster of delirium, loaded with eventful ideas, weird chords and dynamic expression. Jerry really takes over this arrangement with some devilish phrasings, slow, sustained and deliberate, as well as intense and perplexing. A deluge of notes on this one, at times I was laughing nervously while listening to this, a reaction borne from disbelief. Antoine does his funky thing again, a stupendous bass solo that seeks and destroys.

The final two tracks beckon the return of the much maligned saxophone which, in my mind, epitomizes the true nature of jazz, along with the fabulous Fender Rhodes e-piano. Zanella gets to take the glorious spotlight on both "The Egg" and "PreSilence" and he shines brightly. The Fafard anesthetic takes little time to excite the senses and numb any resistance, surgically altering the entire disc with superlative creativity and nasty instrumental delivery. One of the optimum fusion recordings ever, one that I plan to show to my rock drum buddies who think that only Neil can play the kit. Nope. This is undoubtedly Vinnie Colaiuta's finest hour and hence, Fafard becomes equally guilty of genius, by pure association and collaboration. Ad Perpetuum indeed.

5 Eternities

 Sphére by FAFARD, ANTOINE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.26 | 11 ratings

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Sphére
Antoine Fafard Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars He's back! Bassist extraordinaire Antoine Fafard returns with another stellar Jazz Fusion album--this time using drumming legend GARY HUSBAND (LEVEL 42, ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, JOHN McLAUGHLIN), along with long-time collaborator JERRY DE VILLIERS, JR on guitar. Though I truly appreciate the creativity in the song performances coming from such virtuosi of their respective instruments, the album does come up a little short of the heights of Antoine's previous album, Ad Perpetuum (2014).

1. "Reminiscence" (5:56) is a nice, even paced song quite reminiscent of Antoine's last album, Ad Perpetuum, except for the more open turn-taking of the bass solo. Nice keyboard solo from Gary Husband in the fifth minute. Not a bad song, just not anything really new. (8/10)

2. "Renaissance Man" (5:16) starts out sounding like a slowed down version of the previous song. The title may refer to Gary for his dual role as percussionist and keyboard track artist. He is truly extraordinary at both. (8/10)

3. "Facta Non Verba" (5:51) a commendable song for Jerry's attempts at going outside his usual style and breakneck speeds. The stop-and-start rhythm construction is okay for a while, but it gets old. (8/10)

4. "Fur & Axes - Part II" (5:05) opens with some sounds and chords that hold a lot of potential--unresolved angst. The band manages to retain some of this tension over the opening discourse, and even into the first shift, but then at 1:30, when everything quiets down, it is lost; it becomes soft and pretty, even comforting; the tension cannot be regained--even despite Jerry's best efforts in the third and fourth minutes. Still, I'd like to hear more songs like this one. (9/10)

5. "Still Invictus" (7:58) my favorite song on the album. It has great variety shifting right and left, using multiple paces and chord foundations. I get quite a thrill hearing the opening and then following all of the instruments throughout the course of this great song. (10/10)

6. "Cherishing" (4:33) ventures into more atmospheric jazz a la EBERHARD WEBER. This is the kind of variety that I like to here more of from Antoine. Really nice drum and piano work from Gary. I especially like the feeling that the drum is not the rhythm keeper but a lead instrument--really cool! (10/10)

7. "No-Brainer" (5:19) is a little more laid back, world music/jazz oriented (I like the Latin AL DI MEOLA feel to it) though the drumming feels like the same old same old. Excellent fretless bass play (and soli!) with some really nice JAN HAMMER-like synth soloing as well. Even Jerry's Holdsworth-like solo is welcome (cuz it comes late in the song-- and cuz it duels with Gary's synth), but the key to this success is, IMO, due to Antoine's restraint on the bass in the second half of the song. (9/10)

8. "Celestial Roots" (6:00) has an edgy, bluesy, almost raunchy CORVUS STONE-like feel to it (though the drumming is, once again, same old same ole). Even Antoine's solo in the second & third minutes is 'different'--more earthy. Solid song but nothing that leaves me wanting more. (8/10)

9. "Bubonic Groove" (6:06) opens with a polyrhythmic weave of syncopated arpeggi similar to KING CRIMSON Discipline music. The rhythm guitar strums that enter after 30 seconds sound like Andy Summers (THE POLICE) and then Jerry De Villiers' guitar--and, later, Gary Husband's synth soloing--takes one out of KC thinking altogether and back to jazz fusion world. I feel as if I am listening to Jan Hammer, Jean-Luc Ponty's long time bass player (Ralphe Armstrong comes to mind but it could've been Randy Jackson), and Allan Holdsworth together. The song fails to rise to the heights that the beginning of the second minute seems to promise. It seems that the breakdowns in song flow or group weave in order to make room for soloists--which is the traditional jazz way--works against Antoine's music for some reason. Great bass solo at the end of the fourth minute/beginning of the fifth. (9/10)

Where Sphère comes up short is in fresh sounds. As amazing a guitarist as Jerry De Villiers is (I think he is better than the man to whom he is most compared, Allan Holdsworth), one begins to become innured to his one guitar sound. (I have the exact same problem with Allan Holdsworth.) I am thankful for his attempts to temper and vary his sound and style but I think the music misses the counterbalancing inputs of the keyboards and saxophones that Antoine's previous album had. Gary Husband is a great drummer--a great drummer--but, let's face it, any drumming would be a let down when compared to Vinnie Colaiuta's drumming of the last album--which is, in my opinion, one of the greatest whole-album performances by a drummer that I have ever heard.

 Sphére by FAFARD, ANTOINE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.26 | 11 ratings

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Sphére
Antoine Fafard Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Squire Jaco

5 stars As I write this review, only the "limited edition" cd is available. I liked Fafard's last three albums so much that I opted to spend a little more and get this limited edition before the general September release. I'm really glad I did.

This is a stellar album all around. The packaging is beautiful and the liner notes are informative. This has three additional tracks that the regular release does not, and they are similarly wonderful. And the production is just top notch, top notch. It almost sounds like a drummer's album, they are mic'd so perfectly.

Not a long review here, but rest assured that this is some of Fafard's best songwriting, and he complements it with two great accompanying musicians in Gary Husband and Jerry DeVilliers Jr., sounding much like Allan Holdsworth in spots. Fafard takes the lead enough to please all bass-lovers (e.g. yours truly), but doesn't steal the show from the whole band.

I've been handing out 4 stars to each of his last solo albums. This one deserves the full 5.

 Ad Perpetuum by FAFARD, ANTOINE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.67 | 14 ratings

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Ad Perpetuum
Antoine Fafard Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

5 stars An amazing album of jazz fusion very much in the vein of the BRUFORD albums of the late 1970s, but more polished and way more more accessible. Composer and band leader Antione Fafard is an accomplished jazz bass player, but here he has garnered the loyalty of some extraordinary musicians to help realize his music. Preeminent drummer Vinny Colaiuta and guitarist extraordinaire Jerry De Villiers, Jr. No disrespect to the Townsends, father and son, or Mr. Holdsworth but, when the virtuosity is there, there is nothing like a band of live musicians. A lot of the songs remind me of Jaco Pastorius Weather Report, Percy Jones Brand X, and with a little bit of Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, Earthworks, and Hiromi's Sonicbloom thrown in there. This may be a bit premature, but I'm going to go out there and say that this is one of Jazz Fusion's all- time top 10 albums! It is that good! Three (four including sax player Jean-Pierre Zanella) amazing musicians ... all at the top of their game ... playing a set of beautifully composed and flawlessly executed songs. What a jaw-dropping concert experience this would be!

Favorite songs: ALL!! (Even the nutty one!)

Without hesitation: this is a five star album! Check it out! NOW!

 Solus Operandi by FAFARD, ANTOINE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.50 | 19 ratings

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Solus Operandi
Antoine Fafard Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Irek

5 stars Excellent album! No two ways about it! Considering Antoine's output thus far as the chief composer of the Canadian outfit Spaced Out, there was nothing to be afraid of while expecting his another release, but on the flip side of it, I must admit that was a bit apprehensive about what might come out of Antoine's intentions to record his debut album which he announced as "new jazz fusion music". However, the outcome exceeded all my expectations. All my doubts were shattered with the very first listen given to tracks like "New Venture", "Horny Cat" or "Solus Souls". This is undoubtedly Antoine's best effort to date, both as a musician and a composer, which only increases the excitement one might have about what the guy may have in store for us in the forthcoming months. The introduction of classical guitar combined with jazz-fusion feel to the music turned out to be a great success. With its great instrumentation showcased by the collaborators, as well as deeply engrossing musical ideas successfully implemented by the combo mastermind, the album definitely stands apart from its contemporaries. The atmosphere of mystery throughout the album, thoughtfully interwoven here and there with bright, jazzy colours, has made the cd an inseparable part of my life. Highly recommended!
Thanks to evolver for the artist addition.

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