Launching their new release on Loop Records – « Challenger Deep » is Dave Manington’s 3rd album as leader and his most ambitious to date. 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 them is to develop a band sound and understanding so each time they play the music can be re-invented together, often quite radically. Four of the compositions on the album feature fantastic lyrics from Brigitte Beraha and on other tracks she sings wordless vocals, often harmonizing with the sax line to great effect.
Brigitte Beraha – Vocals
Tomas Challenger – Tenor Saxophone
Ivo Neame – Fender Rhodes, Mellotron, Hammond Organ
Rob Updegraff – Guitar
Dave Manington – Double Bass
Tim Giles – Drums, Percussion