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Third Round

4.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 21, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Third ECM album by French-African drummer Manu Katché, following the best selling 'Neighbourhood' and 'Playground'. 'Third Round' features a completely revised ensemble line-up, but is faithful to a group concept that The Guardian described as "beautifully mutated grooves and jazzy themes", with all participants elevated by the physical presence of Katché's beats and drum patterns.
Once again, all music is written by Manu, and his insinuating melodies testify to parallel lives in pop and jazz. The album was recorded in the South of France with producer Manfred Eicher.

A drummer renowned worldwide for his collaborations with pop singers from Sting and Peter Gabriel to Youssou N'Dour, Manu Katché is seen regularly throughout Europe with his Arte channel jam music TV show "One Shot Not". He's a star of the first magnitude in France, and has also - since his affiliation with ECM began - become a force to be reckoned with in jazz. His ECM debut 'Neighbourhood' won the Album of the Year prize of the German record critics amongst many other awards. Additionally, his participation in Jan Garbarek's projects, including the widely-praised live album 'Dresden' has underscored the singularity of his drum approach.

Welsh-born bass guitar legend Pino Palladino has played with Eric Clapton, the Who, Jeff Beck, Paul Simon, Chaka Khan and many other major figures in rock/pop/soul. Jazz and blues and associations range from BB King to Roy Hargrove. Pianist Jason Rebello, once described by UK critic Stuart Nicholson as "probably the finest young jazz musician this country has produced", has played with Gary Burton and Branford Marsalis, and his 1990 debut album was produced by Wayne Shorter. Norwegian saxophonist Tone Brunborg is well-known to followers of ECM from his work with the band Masqualero to the current Tord Gustavsen Ensemble. Guesting are Norwegian/American guitarist Jacob Young, and American singer/songwriter/trumpeter Kami Lyle who adds vocals to "Stay with You", for which she also wrote the lyrics.
Personnel: Manu Katché (drums), Pino Palladino (bass), Jason Rebello (piano), Tore Brunborg (saxohones), Jacob Young (guitars), Kami Lyle (voice, trumpet)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 21, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM Records
  • ASIN: B003616M3O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,027 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is his third solo recording for the ECM label.
He first came to prominence through his work with Peter Gabriel and he is currently a member of Sting's touring group.
His jazz credits include regular appearances with Jan Garbarek and more recently his own work as a leader.
For it, Katché has assembled an unusual but effective cast of musicians, with Tore Brunborg on sax, Jason Rebello on piano and Pino Palladino on bass. The guitarist Jacob Young plays on three of the 11 tracks and there's a cameo by Kami Lyle, whose voice grows on you.
"The album often sounds tonally graceful (usually when Brunborg is playing), and Katché's unjazzy mixture of crunching rocker's backbeats and abstract-percussionist's cymbal effects are as effective here as ever.
But the themes drift to the point where minimal-melody gets close to insubstantiality, and in the rather coy "Springtime Dancing", the quaver of singer/trumpeter Kami Lyle's single gospelly vocal, and the inconsequential groove of "Out Take Number 9", there's a hint or two of unreadiness about the materials. But the All Blues-like feel to the opening "Swing Piece" is compelling, guitarist Jacob Young energises the buoyant Keep on "Trippin'", and the Scandinavian-cool of "Shine and Blue" makes it one of the most striking tracks. The gifted Katché has rightly made a significant mark, but Third Round feels a bit like it's treading water". - John Fordham
Truth is that the new album is essentially more or less like his previous two ones and there are occasions when the music drifts a little too close to smooth jazz.
But this is ECM not GRP and generally the music stays the right side of bland.
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Comment 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I bought "Third Round" by chance in the summer (of 2010). I was looking for "Neighbourhood" with its star studded cast. But found "Third Round" instead as this was the new release at that point in time. It has since been a constant (and very welcome) companion in my car. Whilst I have subsequently added Manu Katche's two previous ECM recordings to my collection, I have developed a soft spot for this one. It's the type of recording that just may appeal to a good many more people than would otherwise be attracted to the ECM catalogue (for the reasons that the other reviewers have mentioned).

So here are a few suggestions that might help you assess if this could be a recording that you would enjoy over repeated playings. I would give it a try if one or more of the following apply to you:

1. You like the Amazon samples (they really do give a good feel for the whole recording).

2. You like the smoother side of jazz and would like to expand into more acoustic recordings.

3. You have heard Manu Katche's previous ECM recordings and prefer "Playground" over Neighbourhood".

4. You like beautifully played instrumental music that is contemporary jazz in style but not too heavily improvised.

5. You like music that is great to unwind to but carries sufficient surprise and inventiveness to stimulate your own creativity and imagination (how could Manu Katche not achieve the element of surprise with his percussive skills).

Overall I find that "Third Round" builds on the direction that Manu Katche has set with his first two ECM recordings. It's somewat more accessible than Neighbourhood (guitar on 3 tracks and a smattering of Fender Rhodes). And along with Allen Toussaint's "The Bright Mississippi" is at the top of my personal list of favourite purchases of the year.
1 Comment 10 of 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
another great album from mr. katche. a little groovier on some tracks, warm and fuzzy on others. i like it. i like the previous albums, too! personally i could do without the lone vocal track but otherwise highly recommended.
1 Comment 6 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
This is a fantastic jazz album, different from most other ECM releases because of its up-tempo beat and very accessible tunes. As such, it should appeal to a wide range of music lovers, not just fans of Katche's understated drumming.

However, in a day and age when it's possible to cram around 75 minutes onto a CD, this one at 44 minutes is way too short. Yes I know 44 great minutes is much more preferable to 75 mins of crap and yes, it's all about quality not quantity, but that's me. I like to think I'm getting value for money when I fork out my hard-earned $$ for CDs in today's downloadable age and to me, 44 mins doesn't quite cut it.

That's why I've taken one star off my review.
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