Daniel Spicer, Jazzwise:
Mike Butler, Manchester Evening News:
Dave Sumner, emusic.com:
Adam Fairhall, The Imaginary Delta: Originally commissioned for the Manchester Jazz Festival, pianist/composer Fairhall bought together a mix of early jazz forms and current technology and music approaches. So what you have are piano, drums, trumpet, trombone and clarinets joined by didley bow, jug, electronics, turntables, and samples of vintage jazz. It has that same synthesis of haunting and nostalgic warmth as anything that Charles Mingus recorded during his most creative moments, and switches from futuristic avant-garde to Olde Tyme swing with alarming seamlessness. An album of outstanding scope and vision. co-Pick of the Week.
Francois Couture, blog.monsieurdelire.com
With this record, UK pianist Adam Fairhall is rethinking the delta blues in post-modern terms. Through six original compositions, he manages to combine traditional instrumentation (clarinet, trombone, trumpet, bass, drums, jug) and electronic devices (laptop, turntable), drawing inspiration from the delta blues, European free improvisation, and the mash-up culture. Paul J. Rogers spins period recordings, which he treats and integrates to Fairhall’s playing (a blend of ragtime, stride, and free). Strong arrangements, puzzling moments, a very successful artistic proposition.
Vittorio Lo Conte, musiczoom.it (dodgy Google trans;ation from the original Italian):
Usually publications of Slam Productions are dedicated to jazz
more modern, but of course we take the liberty to publish even
something special, like this amazing live concert of the band
around the pianistAdam Fairhall.
apprezare The reasons are many who do.Certainly the crowds
and special atmosphere that musicians communicate to those who now listen, and
the music of course, that brings together past and present without
conflict of any kind, from Duke Ellington’s early atmosphere of the things
modern, post-bop jazz from with some reference to the free.
A mosaic that gives rise to a fascinating painting with color, which
blends the past and the present as they have already done great
as Charles Mingus
The group is made only by the leader on piano, byJames Allsopp
to clarinets (a great solo on dolphianoTutwiler Train
Stomp, while elsewhere it makes us feel the archaic sounds of the band
New Orleans),Chris Bridges trombone,SteveChadwickon trumpet,Tim Fairhallon
bass,Gaz Hughesondrums andPaul J.Rogers,who with
his turntables and electronic instruments with which launches the samples so
as to add special effects to sound magma.
The music is simply fun, unconventional, created by a mind
that is inspired visionary, distantly, to precendenti of Mingus who
willingly invited pianists of his groups to play stride and between
The samples of the voices that sound archaic blues make us understand, if
we had forgotten, what is really the swing, while the
emotional participation of the musicians do the rest.
A hard, in short, everything to which he escape aseptic atmosphere
of a recording studio, yet you need tools tomodern communication dall’addetto
managed to work well.The pianist and leader is just an original mind from
which we expectreally
Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery (New York):
ADAM FAIRHALL With JAMES ALLSOPP/CHRIS BRIDGES/STEVE CHADWICK et al –
The Imaginary Delta: Live July 2011 (Slam 289; UK) Adam Fairhall on
piano & compositions, James Allsopp on clarinets, Chris Bridges on
trombone & jug, Steve Chadwick on trumpet, Paul J. Rogers on laptop,
electronics, turntable & diddely bow, Tim Fairhall on bass and Gaz
Hughes on drums. The Slam label has a long history of discovering new
and often unrecorded musicians from Great Britain, as well as South
America and Italy. Pianist & composer Adam Fairhall is a new name for
me and here debuts an impressive septet. This disc was recorded live
at the Manchester Jazz Festival in July of 2011. Starting off with a
strange mutated blues sample the group soon jump into a strong,
hard-swinging groove. The team of frontline horns – clarinet, trumpet
and trombone, has a distinctive sound that seems to dip into some New
Orleans-like rambunctious. This band is consistently tight and
spirited with exuberant piano from Mr. Allsopp. “Sedalia Rag” does
actually sound like a rag and the entire vibe does make me smile.
Utility player, Paul J. Rogers, knows how to insert certain samples
or sounds to enhance those old school references from jazz’s long
history. There is an ancient blues/jazz voice by Ivy Smith sampled on
“Arabian Fantasy” and “Nightmare Blues” by Victoria Spivey used on
another piece. The band erupts on “Tutwiler Train Stomp” which
features some smokin’ clarinet, trombone and piano solos. Mr.
Fairhall’s septet do a good job of keeping one foot in the past and
the other in the present without resorting to copying an older style
too closely. I guess this makes sense since this is “The Imaginary