Most helpful critical review
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Fails to engage my interest as a listener
on June 2, 2011
Manu Katché surrounds himself with a great group of musicians for his recording "Third Round," and because I've been on a bit of an ECM binge lately, I bought a copy without listening to any preview. Big mistake.
Perhaps an analogy will speed matters along. Suppose you spend a week on your favorite beach, and each day is pretty much the same, great weather, balmy days, breezy evenings, each day blurring into the next as nothing exciting or different happens. You may have had a good time, but the trip itself will not be memorable.
See, I've listened to "Third Round" a couple of times, and each time, I grow frustrated at the sameness, the smoothness, the consistency. Many ECM recordings I have heard are minimalistic, but even the ones I dislike were challenging at some point. This one simply fails to engage my interest as a listener.
I'm sure many will label this music as soulful and shimmering, but it feels tired and pale to me, much like many of the offerings from the "triple Z jazzz lite" genre instead of the real deal.