All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

426

Manu Katche: Third Round

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer Manu Katché's third album as leader on ECM, largely follows suit of his previous two on the legendary German label. A spectacularly inventive drummer, Katché demonstrated on Neighborhood (ECM,2005) and Playground (ECM, 200 7) that he's also a composer of highly attractive tunes, characterized by strong melodies and a gently lilting lyricism, guided by his very personal drumming style. Third Round serves up more of the same though with subtle textural changes which reflect the change in personnel from his last outing.

Having spent most of his career coloring the music of pop artists it's maybe no coincidence that most of the tunes don't break four minutes. Considering also the caliber of many of his employees—Joni Mitchell, Robbie Robertson, Tori Amos, Peter Gabriel and Sting—it's hardly surprising that Katché has developed a keen sense of the architecture of a telling song; melody is paramount, space is prized and soloing is kept to a minimum. However, that said, a couple of the compositions, particularly "Out Take Number 9" and "Urban Shadow" peter out teasingly before they have had a chance to develop. The former seems to be a feature for Katché, whose beautifully hushed pressed rolls amid some fine stick work disappears at under two minutes just as pianist Jason Rebello and saxophonist Tore Brunborg introduce the melody.

That minor criticism aside, the compositions make for extremely pleasing listening. As ever, the quality of his accompanists is second to none. Bassist Pino Palladino, himself a veteran of pop circles, provides perfect support with his customary deep groove and sense of space. Rebello, who plays with Katché in Sting's touring band, lends a soft, bluesy touch to the compositions counterbalanced by a subtle melancholy. Brunborg's tone on the saxophone is informed by Jan Garbarek and it is Brunborg's sound, gliding and ruminative, which colors the compositions most strongly. There is however, a wonderful feeling of equilibrium between all the musicians.

The addition of rising star Jacob Young on guitar adds further textures to the music. On the lovely "Keep on Trippin'" Young's guitar flutters and flirts with Brunborg's alto on a tune driven by Katché's light yet irresistibly loping groove. On "Flower Skin," Young switches to acoustic guitar and takes a short but impressive solo which suggests that he's underemployed on this CD. Another departure from Katché's first two ECM recordings as leader is the inclusion of a vocal; "Stay With You," co-written with singer Kami Lyle, has the same country-blues quality and melodic appeal as a Neil Young ballad, though Lyle's voice is a matter of personal taste. Her muted trumpet adds warmth to a song which could almost be a lullaby.

This is music which sways seductively rather than swings, though there is rhythm aplenty in jazzy tunes like "Being Ben" and "Springtime Dancing," with its ghostly Brazilian feel. Katché has crafted another album of seemingly simple yet beautiful tunes which, through their accessibility, strong melodic appeal and fine playing could serve as the perfect intro to anybody wondering where to begin with this many-headed creature called jazz.


Track Listing: Swing Piece; Keep on Trippin'; Senses; Being Ben; Une larme dans ton sourire; Springtime Dancing; Out Take Number 9; Shine and Blue; Stay With You; Flower Skin; Urban Shadow.

Personnel: Manu Katché: drums; Tore Brunborg: saxophones; Jason Rebello: piano, Fender Rhodes; Pino Palladino: bass; Jacob Young: guitars (2, 6, 10); Kami Lyle: vocal (9), trumpet (9, 10).

Title: Third Round | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Unstatic

Unstatic

Anteprima Productions
2016

buy
Touchstone for Manu

Touchstone for Manu

ECM Records
2015

buy
Manu Katche: Touchstone for Manu

Manu Katche:...

ECM Records
2015

buy
Live in concert

Live in concert

ACT Music
2015

buy
Manu Katche

Manu Katche

ECM Records
2013

buy
Manu Katche

Manu Katche

ECM Records
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Melodious Drum CD/LP/Track Review
Melodious Drum
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 21, 2018
Read The Speed of Dark CD/LP/Track Review
The Speed of Dark
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "The Authorized Bang Collection" CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "The Willisau Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 9, 2017
Read "Sing Me Some Cry" CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by John Sharpe
Published: December 6, 2017
Read "Nerve Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Nerve Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 6, 2018