The material on “Unstatic” is comprised of eleven originals written by the leader, all of them played in what has now become familiar as the ‘Manu Katche style’. Katche’s way with a groove and ear for a good tune remain undimmed and the core group sound is expanded by the presence of guest trombonist Nils Landgren who appears on five tracks. Landgren features on the opening track, simply titled “Introduccion”, a seductive rhumba that finds Katche working in harness with no fewer than three guest percussionists in the shapes of Abraham Rodriguez Mansfarroll, Joel Hiereezuelo Balart and Esteben Sotolongo Zapata. Landgren makes a significant contribution on trombone alongside Watson on acoustic piano.
Manu Katché went to the Conservatoire but his musical origins are to be found in rock music. Even though the drummer extraordinaire has listened to a lot of jazz music, he hasnt played that much of it. The case gets even harder to crack when you listen to Katchés tenth album, The ScOpe, where he digs deep into the roots of groove music all the while incorporating the modern sounds of machines. The album cover designed by Arno Lam appropriately pictures Katché sideways an African profile he says- and indeed Africa is the underlying musical theme of the whole album. But this sensual statue is highly flammable if you consider that Manu Katché also knows about dancing he practiced it as a kid, goes out dancing in clubs and after all, you need all four limbs to play the drums he himself remarks.