Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Manu Katche - Manu Katche (ECM, 2012)

Drummer and percussionist Manu Katche became well known by some in the music world in the mid-1980s mostly thanks to his successful contribution to pop music albums of the era by the likes of Peter Gabriel and Sting. Katche has carved out an interesting niche since then, combining instrumental jazz with aspects of popular music and production. The musicians on this album are: Jim Watson on piano and hammond B3 organ, Nils Petter Molvaer on trumpet and loops, Tore Brunborg on tenor and soprano saxophones and Manu Katche drums and piano. My favorite tracks on the album were "Short Ride" with an organ drone underpinning horn riffs, and Brunborg's saxophone solo showing some spark. "Beats and Bounce" has strong saxophone with a backbeat over repetitive piano. This song has another sweet spot for saxophone at a medium tempo as the musicians come in together in a well arranged performance. Sultry saxophone, bright piano and subtle and persistent beat all come together from a fine performance. Other interesting tracks include "Loose" which develops a subtle organ and percussion groove with electronically enhanced trumpet that adds a darker hued layer to the proceedings giving way to Katche's only drums solo of the album. "Walking by Your Side" has the full group coming together at a medium tempo with electronic effects developing a kaleidoscope of musical color with organ and saxophone. This album did not immediately grab me, but repeated listening drew my attention to the structure and texture that was the underlying foundation of the work on this album. Manu Katche - amazon.com

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