|Brigitte Beraha, Tim Giles, Dave Manington, Tom Challenger, Ivo Neame|
Dave Manington’s Riff Raff – Hullabaloo Launch
(Vortex Jazz Club. 28th January 2013. Preview by Dave Manington)
I’m very excited about my upcoming album launch gig at the Vortex at the end of this month. It’s the culmination of a lot of work for me since my last album 5 years ago, and at the same time it’s also the beginning of something new. The album is a documentation of the music we’ve created together as a band over the last few years, and now it’s out there we can move on. I hope to be playing at least two new compositions on the launch gig and more will follow over the next few months.
The current 6 piece line up of Riff Raff has developed organically over the past 10 years. I originally started a Quartet with Ivo Neame on piano, Tim Giles on drums and Mark Hanslip on Tenor Sax (since replaced by Tom Challenger) around the time the Loop Collective was formed in 2005 (seems a long time ago now). Brigitte Beraha and I later collaborated on some new material for the 2009 Loop Festival and it worked so beautifully that she joined the band. This new material became the starting point for this album. Soon after I added Rob Updegraff on the guitar as the final piece in the jigsaw and the music really fell into place. Rob, Tim and I have a great understanding as we were in a band at school together and have been playing with each other for over 20 years now which seems remarkable!
I place a great deal of importance on creating a unified `band sound’ and identity that comes from not chopping and changing personnel or getting deps in unless absolutely necessary. This means we can interpret the music flexibly each time we play it, and often pieces will be reinvented quite radically from one gig to the next, or will gradually morph as we develop a new angle on it. Much of the music has undergone many revisions this way, and each member of the band has had a lot more individual input and freedom than they might normally have in a band where they basically just turn up and sight read through the music. There needs to be a lot of trust between the musicians for it to be possible to play freely and improvise over music that may be quite complex rhythmically. Similarly, it’s important to me to know how each member of the band will play intuitively. When I write new material, I write with them and their playing in mind. If I write a new piece and take it to rehearsal, I know they’ll “get it” straight away, and soon they’ll have developed it into something much greater with their inputs. I generally end up rewriting each tune several times!
For me it was most important to record the album at this stage to document the music at a point where I felt it had reached maturity. We’d been playing half the tunes since the 2009 Loop festival collaboration, and I’d steadily added the rest of the set over the following 2 years. We’d gigged the material quite a lot over the preceding year and it was feeling settled and comfortable.
Then when Rob started to play with us, he added another dimension, and gave the music a new level of excitement. The guitar also “glued” the sound together a lot and suddenly made it a lot easier to free up over. We all agreed that it was time to go into the studio.
– For a description of the tracks on the album click HERE
– Listen to excerpts HERE.
– Dave Manington interviewed by Kate Winter on The Jazz Show
January 28th – The Vortex jazz Club (Album Launch)
February 5th – The Amersham Arms (run by SE Collective)
February 10th – The Salisbury
March 11th – The Oxford
May 3rd – The Con Cellar Bar
June 26th – e17 Jazz Club