For his third ECM recording, the French jazz, rock and pop drummer Manu Katche brings in Jan Garbarek-inspired saxophonist Tore Brunborg and British pianist Jason Rebello – Katche and Rebello are old hands from Sting's band, and electric bassist Pino Palladino and the drummer have worked together for 25 years. That degree of collective familiarity and virtuosity ought perhaps to have produced more startling results. Third Round often sounds tonally graceful (usually when Brunborg is playing), and Katche'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 Katche has rightly made a significant mark, but Third Round feels a bit like it's treading water.
01.Swing Piece 02.Keep On Trippin’ 03.Senses 04.Being Ben 05.Une larme dans ton sourire 06.Springtime Dancing 07.Out Take Number 9 08.Shine And Blue 09.Stay With You 10.Flower Skin 11.Urban Shadow
Personnel: manu katche drums tore brunborg sax jason rebello piano, render rhodes pino palladino bass jacob young guitars kami lyle vocal, trumpet