Forward Space is an exciting and imaginative album that highlights an impressive UK recording debut for trumpeter and composer Andre Canniere. Before moving from New York in 2008, Canniere worked with artists such as Ingrid Jensen and Maria Schneider and their influences are clear in the clever harmonies and unpredictable structures of his compositions. Primarily groove-based pieces, they feature beautiful melodic writing and intricate forms with heavy rock and fusion influences. Each of the tracks show a different facet of his life and personality—from the tense and distorted “Cure”, portraying the energy and excitement of living in New York, to the languid simplicity of “September Piece”, Canniere’s writing and improvisation is never boring. Several tracks (“Crunch” and “Spreading Hypocrisy”) are written as political and social commentary. Bassist Ryan Trebilcock provides the heartbeat here whether he is meshing with drummer Jon Scott or Chris Vatalaro, allowing Canniere and guitarist Hannes Riepler to float over the top and do most of the melodic work. A particular highlight is the folksy closing tune, “Song for J”, which Canniere wrote for his son and plays all of the instruments on the track. With many songs showing both compositional and melodic influences of 1980s Miles Davis, he has impressive technical command of the instrument, always showing lyricism and an open sound. With everything from distorted guitars to loop based riff tunes to acoustic simplicity, Forward Space is a real gem and heralds impressive things to come from a young player.
Review by Alex Noppe, Biedenharn Chair of Trumpet, University of Louisiana-Monroe, Monroe, LA