This `ornamented groove' is most typical of Manu Katché and it is what makes him recognizable on every album he plays on. I remember, for example, standing in a Florentine shoe shop and hearing an Italian record with those typical Katché drums. I asked the woman behind the counter what CD they were playing and it turned out to be the latest CD from Pino Daniele. I bought the CD a few days later and indeed....it was him playing the drums on the first five tracks.
The fact that Manu Katché is a drummer whose style you can recognize makes him quite special. Unlike, for example, guitar players, drummers cannot easily manipulate their instrument, and they have to `keep the groove going' all the time, so they have just a limited amount of musical freedom. Some drummers can be recognized by their sounds (Phil Collins, Jim Keltner), some by their infinitely returning fills (again Phil Collins) others by their capability to play seemingly impossible drum parts (Vinnie Colaiuta), but Manu Katché is above all recognizable by his style. Contrary to drummers like Dave Weckl or Steve Gadd and `thanks' to the fact that he is not a typical virtuous drummer Katché hasn't got a lot of conservatory-, music school-clones. It would be quite senseless to try to imitate him, because his style is mainly based on musicality and his vision on drumming as a sort of landscape- painting. Sounds are for Katché like colors. He uses his drumsticks as brushes and his drumkit like a palette. Like in real painting, tiny touches of color in bigger, colour-contrasting planes make the difference. For that reason he uses small cymbals (splashes) to add color to his playing. Stewart Copeland, another drummer who is very recognizable by his style, used to do the same, but his drumkit during the last Police tour looked more like a whole percussion department of a symphony orchestra. There is nothing wrong with that, but for a more introvert drummer like Manu Katché three, four splashes are more than enough. Painters also use only a small amount of basic colors.