Dave Manington’s Riff Raff – Hullabaloo (2013)
Dave Manington is a bassist and composer based in London, who is a founder member of the Loop Collective and member of the e17 jazz collective. On Hullabaloo, his second album, he is joined by Loop co-conspirator Tom Challenger on sax, long-time collaborator Tim Giles on drums/percussion, Phronesis pianist, Ivo Neame on keys, Rob Updegraff on guitar and Brigitte Bereha on vocals.
Aside from the great playing, two things really stand out on this album; the first is the use of the accordion on some of the tracks from otherwise pianist, Neame. The second is vocalist Brigitte Bereha offering up her voice as an extra instrument, with smooth scatting, often interplaying with Challenger’s sax or Manington’s bass.
The opener Agile is a jaunty number in three parts, woven together into a fine thread; in the first part, Neame’s accordion provides a driving rhythm, and Bereha lyricless vocals flirts between Manington’s bass and Challenger’s sax; the second part slows right down and gives us a gloriously inventive staccato sax solo before hitting the head again, albeit it in a different style. The final section is a more restrained piano solo.
The title track, Hullabaloo, is next and once again has Bereha’s beautiful voice weaving together with the bass before soloing. It is a smooth and introspective piece, with subtle brushed drums from Giles. As Bereha hits her stride, you really get a taste of how good a voice she has.
Catch Me The Moon is a ballad which first shows Bereha’s lyricism; while singing, she still shows her vocal talent as an extra instrument, as she picks out melodies around the changes, and Water Torture has Neame on Fender Rhodes, which along with the quite intense drum beat gives quite a harsh edge to the track, which offers up a stark contrast to the vocals. There is a certain European folk feeling to You Can’t Eat Crisps To That, brought about by the accordion and shuffling drum rhythm.
In all, an exciting and interesting album, well worth the listen. To highlight Bereha’s vocals above the rest of the group would be to do them a disservice, but she has a wonderful voice, playing its part as an instrument, playfully weaving melodies seamlessly with all the instruments.
Favourite tracks: Agile, Water Torture, You Can’t Eat Crisps To That.
Spotify link: Dave Manington’s Riff Raff – Hullabaloo
Bandcamp link: http://loopcollective.bandcamp.com/album/hullabaloo-2