Entertainment » Music

Manu Katche

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Tuesday Oct 30, 2012
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Manu Katché came to the attention of the music world with his outstanding drum work on rocker Peter Gabriel’s 1986 mega-hit album, "So," providing the legendary beats on classic pop hits such as "Sledgehammer" and "Big Time." Since then, Katché has impressively built up his resume with collaborations with dozens of other artists, including Sting, Tracy Chapman, Youssou N’Dour and Joni Mitchell.

As a solo artist and bandleader, Katché’s vibes are firmly ensconced in the jazz world, and the release of his fourth album, the self-titled "Manu Katché," is a soothing set of ten compositions featuring the musician on drums and piano, along with a trio of talented cohorts from around the world.

Recorded in France this past March, only Norwegian saxophonist Tore Brunborg remains with Katché from his last recording on the ECM label, 2010’s "Third World." Alternating with Brunborg, providing the mellow melodies that soar on top of Katché’s intricate and deceptively complex rhythmic foundations, is fellow Scandanavian Nils Petter Molvær on trumpet, and London-based Jim Watson on the Hammond B3 organ and piano. Watson also handles all the bass lines on the B3, giving the album a lighter feel, and not giving the songs the opportunity to become bogged-down with bass-heavy moments.

From the opening drum riff of "Running After Years," through the catchy "Beats and Bounce" and the ambient feelings of "Slowing the Tides" and "Dusk on Carnon," Katché establishes his presence with his signature sound, while the quartet seamlessly travels through this ten-song set, effortlessly navigating his musical ideas into a landscape of accessible tunes.

"Manu Katché"
Manu Katché
CD and Digital formats
ECM / Universal Music

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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