(Whirlwind Recordings WR4619. CD Review by Chris Parker)
Written while trumpeter Andre Canniere was in the process of relocating from New York to London, the material on this album, which he calls his ‘first major statement as a composer and bandleader’, is appropriately dynamic and wide-ranging in both its musical styles and concerns.
Few record labels are as suitably named as Whirlwind -– previous releases include albums by Partikel, Phil Robson, Alex Garnett, Jeff Williams, Patrick Cornelius and Michael Janisch – and the sheer driving urgency of Canniere’s music is what immediately impresses (the opening track, ‘Crunch’ derives its slightly hysterical, frenetic vigour from Canniere’s reaction to the ‘false sense of euphoria that existed leading up to the [2008 global credit] crisis’).
Subsequent tracks, however, ring the changes between the imaginative originality of the title-track (perfectly described in the album’s publicity material as ‘Steve Reich typing Morse Code at a party while dancing to Parliament Funkadelic’) and more contemplative, often downright wistful lower-tempo material (‘Marshlands Blackout’ was inspired by a visit to Canniere’s childhood home in rural Pennsylvania, ‘Song for J’, on which Canniere plays trumpet, Rhodes piano, guitars and cahon, by his feelings for his son, Jonas). Forward Space is thus a perfect demonstration of the freewheeling energy that is generated from close association (Canniere’s bandmates, guitarist Hannes Riepler, keyboards player George Fogel, bassist Ryan Trebilcock and drummers Jon Scott and Chris Vatalaro have all, according to Canniere, ‘played an important role in developing these specific compositions in an organic and intuitive way’ since the trumpeter’s arrival in London in 2008).
An impressive debut from a technically assured, highly individual soloist and a gifted composer.
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