Review: Dave Manington's Riff Raff at Jazz at the Salisbury

Ivo Neame and Dave Manington at Jazz at the Salisbury
Drawing by Geoffrey Winston. © 2013. All Rights Reserved


Review: Dave Manington's Riff Raff at Jazz at the Salisbury
(10 February; review and drawings by Geoff Winston)


Dave Manington is not a front man but he's a leader. Riff Raff is his naturally well-integrated sextet - built up over ten years and looking even further back to Manington's schooldays when he was in a band with Tim Giles and Rob Updegraff. Drawing strongly on their new album, 'Hullabaloo' they mixed complex, choppy cross-rhythms with Latin flourishes and post-prog jazz. This combination of well-honed talents sits well together, balanced, appreciative of each other's skills and responding brightly to Manington's sophisticated scores - even if their titles ('Lingering at the Gravy', 'You Can't Eat Crips to That') are down to earth and even a bit cheesy!

Ivo Neame, known best for his role in Phronesis, brought space and a nonchalant authority to the mix, hinting at Zawinul rather than Evans on electric piano. Tom Challenger demonstrated a weighty, expressive assurance as a natural front-man on tenor. Brigitte Beraha revelled in the chances to glide from samba-suffused tinsel tunes with tinges of Flora Purim to subdued scat, and took on the wistful melodrama of Bjork's Anchor Song with touching effect.

Brigitte Beraha at Jzz at the Salisbury
Drawing by Geoffrey Winston. © 2013. All Rights Reserved


Updegraff's gritty guitar solos trembled with a nervous intent and added a rock-facing dimension to the spectrum to which Giles also contributed subversively, through a layered percussive drive that wouldn't sit still in jazz, rock or any other territory for too long, King Crimson-style. Manington stamped his authority on proceedings when he silenced the house with the peaceful, meditative deliberation of a solo introduction which eventually allowed the rest of the band to drift in to join him in 'Danger Pig'.

The relaxed setting of the Salisbury was a great showcase for the music of this accomplished, ambitious group; a highly enjoyable evening. Catch them as they do the rounds.

Dave Manington (double bass)
Ivo Neame (electric piano)
Brigitte Beraha (vocals)
Tim Giles (drums)
Tom Challenger (tenor sax)
Rob Updegraff (guitar)

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