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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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Manu KATCHÉ

ECM 370 9456

 

 

Running after Years [6:23]
Bliss [4:22]
Loving You [4:38]
Walking by your side [5:31]
Imprint [5:19]
Short Ride [4:05]
Beats & Bounce [8:28]
Slowing the Tides [5:36]
Loose [5:28]
Dusk on Carnon [2:20]

Nils Petter Molvær (trumpet, loops), Tore Brunborg (tenor & soprano saxophones), Jim Watson (piano, Hammond B3 organ), Manu Katché (drums). Floor toms on Loose played by Tore Brunborg and Nils Petter Molvær and piano on Dusk on Carnon by Manu Katché. All tracks composed by Manu Katché.

rec. March 2012 at Studios La Buissonne, Pernes-les-Fontaines, France.Engineers: Gérard de Haro & Romain Castera. [52:14]


Manu Katché is a drummer who was born in France in 1958 of Ivorian origin and who first came to prominence after working with Peter Gabriel and Sting subsequently working with many musicians from various genres, including Afro Celt Sound System, Jeff Beck, Al Di Meola, Tears For Fears, Eurythmics, Simple Minds, Dire Straits, Jan Garbarek, Manu Chao, Loreena McKennitt,Youssou N'Dour, Robbie Robertson, Joan Armatrading, Joe Satriani, Tori Amos, Richard Wright, Kyle Eastwood, Ryuichi Sakamoto. With a pedigree like that his credentials are self evident before you’ve heard a note played. However, once you hear the disc you can fully appreciate why so many artists wanted him to play with them for not only is he a superb drummer but a hugely talented composer which this disc testifies to, all tracks having been written by him. The music is infectious with a propulsive, driving beat throughout much of the disc. The line up is unusual in that there is no bass which you would have thought you’d miss but the interplay between drums and piano or Hammond organ provides a basis that more than makes up for that absence. Jim Watson is a fantastic jazz pianist who brings the likes of McCoy Tyner to mind while Norwegians Nils Petter Molvær and Tore Brunborg, both born within four months of each other in 1960, are perfect choices creating a tightly knit and brilliantly musical quartet. The opening track sets the pace with a fabulous tune Running after Years that establishes each musician’s skill and musicality with Jim Watson and Manu Katché anchoring the song while trumpet and sax fill in the narrative. Bliss is well named with Jim Watson’s organ providing a gentle caressing accompaniment to the hypnotic sound of Manu’s drums. Loving You builds further on the gentle interplay between Watson and Katché with Watson producing both organ and piano together to begin with before his piano plays the main tune that would have an audience let out the oft heard cry of “yeah!” at the end. Nils Petter Molvær or NPM as he’s affectionately known opens Imprint with a wistful sounding trumpet that reminded me of the late, great Ian Carr, handing the baton to Watson to complete the tune in dreamy style. Short Ride gives us a chance to hear the tenor sax of Tore Brunborg and Beats & Bounce gives us more of his lyrical horn playing while Watson plays the beats of the title on piano before taking the tune in another direction and finishing on organ. Watson’s organ is again heard opening Slowing the Tides with a beautiful lilting main tune that he hands on to Brunborg’s tenor and which is closed by NPM’s trumpet. The disc closes with a piano solo from Manu Katché, Dusk on Carnon, a gentle way with which to end the disc. It was fashionable a few years ago for some to predict the demise of the music industry but not only has it weathered the storm and adapted itself to embrace the era of the download but it has flourished and just as the ‘real’ and ‘craft beer’ industry has led to greater choice than ever so has the music industry in all genres and I’m always amazed as to the number of jazz musicians there are and only regret the fact that I can’t hear them all. I feel very fortunate to have heard this disc which is a really enjoyable and exciting one and a great introduction to the wonderful world of Manu Katché.

Steve Arloff

 



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