Dave Manington's Riff Raff
Riff Raff is an innovative group featuring some of the UKs finest artists working in contemporary jazz - Brigitte Beraha (Kenny Wheeler, London Jazz Orch.), Ivo Neame (Phronesis, Marius Neset), Tomas Challenger (Foufolah/Red Snapper), Rob Updegraff (Alani, Beth Rowley/Zigaboo Modeliste) and Tim Giles (Iain Ballamy/Art Farmer). The music is sophisticated and full of virtuoso playing, sometimes freely improvised with an exciting element of risk, but the song forms, melodic nature and the empathy and great ensemble playing of the group make it highly accessible.
“It also grooves like hell, with some thick mercurial riffs – full of stops, starts, and turns yet rocking in the grip of a savage momentum.” JAZZWISE.
The starting point for the music is collective improvisation but compositionally it draws on as wide a range of styles as possible. Folk, electronic music and contemporary classical influences are added to the mix with complex jazz harmonies and rhythms. The most important thing for us is to develop a band sound and understanding so each time we play the music can be re-invented together, often quite radically. Several new compositions feature fantastic lyrics from Brigitte Beraha and on other tracks she sings wordless vocals, often harmonizing with the sax line to great effect.
The album “Hullabaloo” was released on Loop Records in 2013, the group toured the UK in spring 2017 and recorded a new album “Challenger Deep” which was released in May 2018 to critical acclaim.
“Riff Raff mix the leader’s clever composing with a formidable lineup, including Ivo Neame on piano and occasional accordion, the articulate Tomas Challenger on tenor, and the excellent Tim Giles on drums. Add John Scofield-like guitarist Rob Updegraff and softly surefooted vocalist Brigitte Beraha, and the soundscape embraces a 21st century sax-led cool school sound, raw guitar-fusion, diffident Wayne Shorteresque lyricism, and vocals that showcase Beraha’s eloquent lyrics and inventiveness as a wordless improviser.” The Guardian
“Inventive, forward looking jazz that subtly pushes the envelope whilst remaining thoroughly accessible to the listener.” jazzmann.com