Eagerly awaited second ECM album by French-African drummer Manu Katche. Recorded in New York’s Avatar Studio in January 2007, “Playground” picks up where the best-selling “Neighbourhood” left off: in the interim the project has coalesced into a rip-roaring and fully-integrated band. Manu’s group, featuring a Polish/Norwegian confederacy of young players, is energized by his hard driving drums and by his compositions which invite spirited solos… Together, the quintet - whose strong new frontline features Mathias Eick and Trygve Seim - makes exciting, zestful music.
A specially-price limited edition compilation of Manu Katché on ECM. Here the French drummer is joined in performances of his tunes by an outstanding cast of soloists including Jan Garbarek, Tomasz Stanko, Nils Petter Molvӕr, Trygve Seim, Mathias Eick, Marcin Wasilewski, Tore Brunborg, and Jacob Young. Recorded 2004 -2012 in Oslo, New York and Pernes-les-Fontaines, and drawn from his widely acclaimed albums: Neighborhood (ECM1896), Playground (ECM 2016), Third Round (ECM 2156), Manu Katché (ECM 2284)
Stefano Battaglia plays both piano and prepared piano (sometimes simultaneously) in a highly attractive double-album programme that includes his own compositions and spontaneous improvisations as well as two versions of the Arabic traditional song “Lamma Bada Yatathanna”. The melodic and texturally-inventive pieces, some of almost hypnotic allure, were recorded both in concert and in “closed doors” sessions at the Fazoli Concert Hall in Sacile, Italy, in May 2016, and subsequently arranged into what Battaglia describes as “a wonderful new shape with a completely new dramaturgy” by producer Manfred Eicher.