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Adam Fairhall

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Biography of Adam Fairhall

Pianist Adam Fairhall’s new project The Imaginary Delta was commissioned by Manchester Jazz Festival’s Original’s scheme for the 2011 festival. It premiered on 26th July 2011 at Band on the Wall. The live recording of that performance serves as the basis for this album, mixed and mastered on an analogue desk for a rich, dark sound that matches the textures – including the grain and scratch of old records and the bluesy three-horn voicings – of the music itself.
The band features seven highly creative musicians, including BBC Jazz Award winner James Allsopp and Northern trumpet star Steve Chadwick (Magic Hat Ensemble). The music re-visits early jazz forms via a mixture of old and new idioms, acoustic instruments (including the diddley bow, an archaic blues instrument) and new technologies, including laptop and turntable. Samples from vintage recordings are often used to invoke the past in a soundworld that is playful, haunting and evocative.
In the project’s initial press release, MJF Artistic Director Steve Mead wrote:
"Adam's project was a natural choice for this year's festival commission - his ambition to draw upon the early language of jazz and make it speak to us in the 21st century is something we've not explored fully before; Adam is proving to be a pianist and composer with ingenious talent, fascinating ideas and an un-rivalled knowledge of jazz history, and this project is something very close to his heart. I know festival go-ers will be surprised, entertained and inspired by the results…"
The gig was met with considerable audience acclaim, and the wonderful atmosphere is preserved on the recording. Journalist Chris Ackerley named the gig as his no.1 of 2011.
Adam Fairhall is emerging as a talent to watch on the British scene. He was selected for Edition VI of the prestigious Take Five artist development scheme, and his debut album as co-leader with Paul J Rogers, Second-Handed Blues, was released on ASC Records in 2011. He frequently performs and records as the pianist in Nat Birchall’s acclaimed group, and is also a respected educator, currently holding a position as programme leader for popular music at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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