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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and soulful.
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,...
Published on July 18, 2010 by kons

versus
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fails to engage my interest as a listener
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...
Published on June 2, 2011 by loce_the_wizard


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and soulful., July 18, 2010
This review is from: Third Round (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.
The playing, particularly from the core group is superb and Katche's music is as melodic as ever although it could be argued that some of the themes remain undeveloped.
If you liked Katché's two previous ECM releases you'll like this too.
There's nothing new here but the man's way with a tune and a groove is irresistible and his own playing consistently absorbing.
All in all, the CD is another proof of of "brilliance and a general mood of soulfulness and sensitivity". - Phil Johnson
Enjoy

Neighbourhood
Playground (Ocrd)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You might want to try this if...., December 5, 2010
This review is from: Third Round (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.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fails to engage my interest as a listener, June 2, 2011
This review is from: Third Round (Audio CD)
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.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another cool one..., June 28, 2010
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This review is from: Third Round (Audio CD)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, February 22, 2012
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This review is from: Third Round (Audio CD)
This is one of M.K. greatest CD's ever. I listen to it in very heavy rotation. Every library should have one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Third Round, August 3, 2011
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This review is from: Third Round (Audio CD)
In a word "Exquisite", the quality of the recording is magnificent and the perfomances are 11 out of a ten point grade.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album - but too short!, December 15, 2010
This review is from: Third Round (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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Third Round
Third Round by Manu Katche (Audio CD - 2010)
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