The Spirit Farm

Artist: Adam Fairhall

Date of Release: 27/04/2015

Catalogue no: SLAMCD 299

Label: SLAM

Price: £10

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Track Listing









Adam Fairhall: grand piano, prepared Hohner Pianet T, prepared toy piano, indian harmonium
Christophe de Bezenac: tenor saxophone, Anton Hunter: electric guitar, Johnny Hunter: drums, Dave Kane: double bass, Corey Mwamba: vibraphone, glockenspiel, dulcimer, wooden flute

‘The Spirit Farm’ features some of the most talked-about improvisers on the current UK scene. They build on previous instrumental approaches in fascinating ways; the upside-down use of the bass bow, often heard in free improv, is used here to beat out a haunting riff like a 21st century diddley bow, and the post-cage piano preparations so common among free pianists is applied to a vintage electric piano.
Like Adam Fairhall’s first SLAM CD ‘The Imaginary Delta’, (SLAMCD 289) this new release is also a live recording, with all the risks and excitement that offers.
‘The Imaginary Delta’ “An album of outstanding scope and vision. co-Pick of the Week”. emusic.com. “Inventive music that echoes the spirit of Charles Mingus”. The Bird is the Worm 2012 Album of the Year.




24/06/2016 Rotcod Zzaj

Adam Fairhall – THE SPIRIT FARM: Another VERY interesting musical adventure from our friends at Slam Productions… it features Adam Fairhall performing on grand piano, prepared Hohner Pianet T, prepared toy piano, indian harmonium; Christophe de Bezenac doing tenor saxophone; Anton Hunter on electric guitar; Johnny Hunter doing drums; Dave Kane on double bass and Corey Mwamba performing on vibraphone, glockenspiel, dulcimer, wooden flute… they create fantastic and intimate improvisations that will hold you spellbound, particularly on tunes like the 15:31 opener, “All”… what’s most notable on this tune is the pacing – they take lots of time to weave in elements that will remain just beyond your perception, until (maybe) the 3rd or 4th listen – be sure you do that first excursion with headphones on, or you may miss some of those neat little nuances. Though this is my first listen to Adam’s spellbinding work, I’m actively impressed… my personal favorite of the five (long) improvisations offered up is “All Again“… if you’re doing this with headphones on, as recommended, you will certainly agree that this is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. The “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.99. Get more information at the Slam Productions page for this release. Rotcod Zzaj


01/09/2015 John Sharp

The Spirit Farm represents the eponymous debut of an outfit convened by pianist Adam Fairhall comprising six young improvisers based in the north of England. Although culled from a live performance, thought has gone into sequencing, so three improvisations featuring the full band are separated by three shorter cuts from subsets of the group. But even when the complete unit combines not everyone plays all the time. One of the most notable features is the distinctive group approach focused on timbre, texture and sound, alongside willingness to use diverse idiomatic materials. That open-mindedness is demonstrated by a fondness for rhythmic patterns not always present in improv settings. Each of the pieces is episodic and incremental, drawing on unusual combinations, like a series of tenuously linked short stories. So in “All”, after an enigmatic beginning of percussive clanging, most likely emanating from Fairhall’s electric piano preparations, Johnny Hunter’s tappy drums and Dave Kane’s twanging bass join. Eventually a pulse emerges as Kane rhythmically bounces the back of his bow on the strings while French saxophonist Christophe de Bezenac breaks up his lines to good effect by alternating long tones and eruptions of overblown squawks. De Bezenac further shows his predilection for unusual timbres in duet with Anton Hunter’s stumbling guitar stylings on “Anton Christophe”. Although not generally jazzy Fairhall’s piano in “Adam, Dave, Johnny” almost verges on the conventional in its lilting flow and slight blues inflections. More typical is “Adam Corey” where vibraphonist Corey Mwamba’s spare phrasing contrasts with Fairhall’s distorted keyboard motifs. The overall trajectory increases in density, culminating in “All Once More”, where layers of overlapping rhythmic activity bring the cast together. Rocky drums and driving guitar fuel an intense crescendo before an abrupt halt. It’s a set that declares intent, imagination and prowess and as such promises much for the future. For more information, visit slamproductions.net. Adam Fairhall is at ABC No-Rio Sep. 13th. See Calendar. John Sharp, THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD | SEPTEMBER 2015 27 file:///C:/Users/me/Downloads/27.pdf


01/06/2015 Ken Cheetham

Adam Fairhall has been described as “ – a rising star of the piano” in BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Line-Up and he demonstrates the legitimacy of that portrayal in this fascinating recording of free improv. It’s a parsec or two on from his teenager’s roots in blues and boogie, but it remains in this galaxy by dint of his idiosyncratic piano style, whose multiplicity of expression seems drawn from the entire gamut of manners throughout jazz history. Earlier jazz forms are summoned and presented in alternative conceptions, often with humour, always with passion.

These are the marks of a true artist and that is echoed in another work, The Imaginary Delta, commissioned by the Manchester Literature Festival of 2014. Poet Jackie Kaye uses her poetry about Bessie Smith, illustrated and supported by Adam Fairhall’s visualizations of her songs to produce an unruly medley evocative of the Tennessee Delta. It’s an accomplished and talented work.

The Spirit Farm exhibits exceptional latitude in its fertile revelations, both ingenious and resourceful, and the improvisation is unbounded.

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham http://www.jazzviews.net/the-spirit-farm.html


01/06/2015 Daniel Spicer

The Spirit Farm

Christophe de Bezenac (ts), Adam Fairhall (gens p, prepared Hohner pianet, top p, Indian harmonium), Anton Hunter (elg), Johnny Hunter (d), Dave Kane (b) and Corey Mwamba (vib, glock, swarmandal, beakfl). Rec 5 March 2014

Think of this as a north-of-Watford improve supergroup, bringing together musicians based in Derby, Leeds and Manchester, who have been involved in some of the most innovative and vital jazz-related projects in the UK over the last few years, for a devastatingly creative live session. In full swing, the group’s energies find a natural home in ecstatic free-jazz, with Dave Kane’s towering double bass rising like a sturdy supporting column, Johnny Hunter’s drums falling forwards with a ferocious internal momentum and Adam Fairhall’s piano lunging fiercely. But it’s in the quieter moments - the slow build-ups of the full ensemble pieces, and the smaller duo and trio groupings - that their imaginations really run riot: gamelan-like prepared toy piano and the upside-down bow bouncing off the bass strings like a twanging diddley-bow; the saxophone’s key-pads sounding hollow rattled while the electric guitar pings and swirls; and the vibraphone dancing around a filthily distorted prepared electric piano. Full of unexpected textures and surprising sounds, the session convincingly proposes a 21st century British response to some of the challenges laid down by the AACM 50 years ago.
Daniel Spicer Jazzwise June 2015.


28/04/2015 Vittorio Lo Conte

L´avanguardia più radicale inglese si è ritrovata intorno al pianista Adam Fairhall in questo incontro registrato dal vivo. Sono sei musicisti che si incontrano nell´ambito di geometrie variabili, dal sestetto al duo, e mettono in mostra la loro forza improvvisativa in una musica che si ispira anche al free storico. Nell`All di apertura collettivo si lascia andare verso atmosfere roventi in cui il sassofonista tenore rievoca la voce di un Archie Shepp. A seguire c´è il duo insieme alla chitarra elettrica di Anton Hunter
Anton Christophe, qui la musica acquista un´altro aspetto, il sassofono produce suoni sulle chiavi dello strumento ed altri rumori eterodossi mentre la chitarra elettrica disseziona le possibilità del suo strumento. Il brano che segue è un trio, il leader insieme al contrabbasso di Dave Kane e la batteria di Johny Hunter,
Adam Dave Johnny, è un brano molto interessante, ricco di energia e di sviluppi inaspettati. Una dimensione, quella del trio, molto interessante e che sicuramente sarebbe da sviluppare ancora per il pianista inglese. Subito dopo i musicisti si riuniscono tutti insieme, c´e anche
Corey Mwamba al vibrafono. Il sassofono tenore agita l´atmosfera con la sua voce roca mentre la chitarra si esprime con linee sghembe che danno al brano un´atmosfera molto particolare. Il Pianet T. preparato ed il vibrafono insieme sono i protagonisti di Adam Copey, anche qui suoni insoliti per un dialogo che va oltre il solito. Si chiude ancora tutti insieme con una musica compatta ed agitata in cui l´energia del gruppo si esprime con forza e l´efficace sax tenore sembra rievocare gli urli degli anni `60. L´intero disco mostra le possibilità di una band che si esibisce in diverse situazioni e che non fa niente di scontato, ma sorprende gli ascoltatori ad ogni passo. La creatività la fa da padrone.
Vittorio lo Conte, http://www.musiczoom.it/?p=22792#.VVNSXvlVikp

Google translate
The avant-garde radical English has found itself around the pianist Adam Fairhall in this meeting recorded live. Six musicians who meet in the context of variable geometries, from duo to sextet, and show off their strength in improvisational music that is also based on the free town. Nell`All opening collective indulges towards atmospheres where hot tenor saxophonist evokes the voice of Archie Shepp. Following is the duo along with electric guitar Anton Hunter ‘Christophe Anton’, here the music acquires another aspect, the saxophone produces sounds on the keys of the instrument and other sounds heterodox while the electric guitar dissects the possibilities of his instrument. The following passage is a trio, the leader with the bass of Dave Kane and battery Johny Hunter, ‘Adam Dave Johnny,, is a very interesting piece, full of energy and unexpected developments. A dimension, that of the trio, very interesting and certainly would be developed again for the English pianist. Immediately after the musicians gather together, there also Corey Mwamba vibraphone. The tenor saxophone agitated atmosphere with his husky voice and the guitar is expressed with oblique lines that give the song a very special atmosphere. The Pianet T. prepared and vibraphone together are the protagonists of ‘Adam Corey’, again sounds unusual for a dialogue that goes beyond the usual. It closes all still together with a music compact and agitated when the energy of the group is expressed with force and the effective tenor seems to recall the screams of the `60s. The entire disc shows the possibilities of a band that performs in different situations and that does nothing for granted, but surprises listeners with every step. Creativity is king.


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