I’ve been wanting to start occasionally posting videos for a couple months but have held off. I wanted there to be some consistency – perhaps making them a semi-regular aspect of this blog – and also for the posts to be relatively informative. I didn’t want to simply post a YouTube link with some exclamation points, but rather offer some brief context and/or history as to why I selected it/them. (Somewhat akin to the “New Listen” series.) Nothing lengthy, but more than just a link.
Attempting consistency, I’ve chosen a video by Manu Katché Group as the debut post. (Regularly readers may know that Manu Katché’s Third Round was the debut “New Listen” post a little over a year ago.)
I really wish I could’ve been fortunate enough to have seen this particular lineup on this (European) tour! A number of ECM staples, especially Katché and Eick, and a saxophonist I’ve become quite taken with over the last 13 months, Tore Brunborg. (He’s featured on Third Round, and is also on Eick’s latest album.) The whole concert largely features material from Neighbourhood and Playground, and this particular clip includes one tune from each album. (The whole concert, divided into 6 clips, is available for viewing, but this particular clip is by far my favorite. I’ve seen/listened to it probably over 150 times over the last few months…)
[UPDATE: Much of this concert has been periodically removed from YouTube over the years, but “Clubbing” remains.]
This group plays together very well. Brunborg and Eick take different approaches on both tunes (especially “Clubbing,” the latter), and the rhythm section fluidly follows suit each time, giving and taking with ease. Also, a real treat of this performance is to hear these musicians in an intense, often barn-burning, “straight-ahead” setting, something Katché practically avoids on his studio albums.
If you like this one, definitely take the time to watch the entire concert (~1 hour) if you can.