Were David Hanke to pass on from this mortal coil tomorrow, Nevertheless might prove his perfect epitaph. It’s a refreshingly honest and somewhat autobiographical long-player that harks back to his early twenty first century musical influences but actually has its route much earlier in this self-styled Renegade Of Jazz’s life. The album’s appellation refers back to Hanke’s first live concert experience when in 1984, at the age of six, he went to see a Blues-rock band called Nevertheless whose guitarist was none other than his own father. With music clearly already running through Hanke’s D.N.A. this was the moment that, perhaps subconsciously, triggered his life long love affair with soulful sonic creativity. Nevertheless sparks into action with the irresistibly uplifting Lemon Squeezers, a suitably life affirming opener complete with exhilarating guitars and as the man tells us, “(the) basic characteristic, the beat!” and it’s a rock solid beat at that. With some Renegades Of Jazz trademark horns added for extra spice, and of course everything programmed by Mr Hanke himself, this is the perfect introduction to this man’s scintillating style. Nautical nugget, Big Fish, continues the brass obsession.
It has a more sonorous, almost big band feel, even though we all know this is being delivered solely by one pair of hands and that singular, special musical brain. Hanke adds some nifty piano work for extra cheekiness, which is a theme that’s continued on Another Day (Going In Too Deep) where Hammond style keys and perfectly chosen vocal samples do battle with more foot friendly beats, before we go in deep with Afro flavoured licks and horn riffs. The title track starts life as something of a moment of calm with a more introspective feel, but not for long as we make way for more trademark beats and vocal loops, and more of those irresistible horns! It’s the prelude for a watershed moment on the album as Hanke then introduces his first guest in the shape of Bristolian rapper Donnie Numeric (one half of Delegates of Rhyme) on the scorching Hot Wired. It’s the perfect illustration of our producer’s love for the Hip-Hop art form, and Donnie’s smooth lyrical flow combines with those Renegades Of Jazz brass and guitar riffs to make more demands on you to move your feet.