Friendly Ghosts, my solo piano album released last month (August 2017) on Efpi Records, has had a couple of great reviews so far (more reviews are expected!).
This is from London Jazz News:
CD REVIEW: Adam Fairhall – Friendly Ghosts
(Efpi Records. Review by AJ Dehany)
Adam Fairhall is a great example of an outside player who plays inside. Raised in Cornwall and resident in Manchester, he is pianist in Nat Birchall’s Coltrane-inspired band and piano-preparer in free improvisation sextet The Spirit Farm. He is one of the pool of musicians including drummer Johnny Hunter who are associated with but never profess to completely belong to the Manchester scene. His debut solo piano album Friendly Ghosts is released on that scene’s inspiring independent Efpi label run by Beats & Pieces Big Band leader Ben Cottrell.
Friendly Ghosts has a lightness of touch, an abundance of invention, and a twinkling sense of mischief that make it an absolute scream. Pine Apple Rag slices Scott Joplin’s rag tune into piña colada. Egyptian Fantasy imbues a sibylline original with the ‘Spanish tinge’ of early New Orleans music. There’s some unabashedly postmodern thinking going into Fairhall’s gustaceous redigestions of boogie woogie, ragtime, ballad and New Orleans styles. By foregrounding the most fake-book elements of these ideas he deepens the dive into spontaneous elements, with a raucous sense of performative rather than academic deconstruction that goes beyond pastiche.
KT Boogie opens with dense digging at the low end of the piano leading to a broader conception celebrating the ‘Katy Line’ of blues lore and his two year old daughter Kate. I’m Getting Sentimental Over You is the closest to the ‘straight jazz playing’ of the ballad songbook, with enjoyable command and clear chops developed from significant experience as a sideman. Typically, Restaurant Music’s reflective mixture of Messiaen and Cecil Taylor gives way to Blue Square’s off-kilter blues.
The energy and exuberance of the performances springs from wow to how when you realize that the album was recorded live— on a solo piano progress around the North of England in 2014. The excellence of the sound, an invisibly-produced blend of warm piano and subtle ambience, comes in part from fantastic instruments on the two nights from which the album’s selections are drawn: the Steinway at St Ann’s in Manchester and the Kawai at the Lit & Phil in Newcastle.
The aptly named New Great Northern Stomp takes off from Chicago Blues legend Otis Spann’s eponymous Boogie Woogie, and drags us careening up the rippling route across the Peak District toward Manchester, clipping past the reservoirs at Woodhead and Crowden and almost certain death at the parish of Tintwistle or Glossop. Along the way you hear Northern accents: not the voice itself, but that quality of irreverence that nonetheless attends deep respect. The quality of pastiche is not strain’d.
This is from All About Jazz:
By Roger Farbey
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I’ve been terrible at updating my site this past year (I blame it on the arrival of our second child!), but below are three of great reviews of The Spirit Farm’s eponymous album, released on SLAM in April 2015. The group, a freely-improvising six-piece, performed at the Southbank Centre in November as part of the 2015 London Jazz Festival, and we are hoping to get a tour together in the coming months.
The album also placed at no. 5 on Daniel Spicer’s end-of-year critics’ poll in Jazzwise magazine.
Link to New York City Jazz Record review:
Jazz Journal review:
The Markov Chain is a new trio with Adam on piano, Tim Fairhall on bass and British Free Music legend Paul Hession on drums. The trio play freely improvised music. Their debut performance was at the Manchester Jazz Festival 2013, a gig that received an excellent review by Mike Butler, who wrote:
This was the orgiastic, earth-shaking, cacophonous real deal, with none of the mimsy “I don’t feel ready for this yet” reticence that besets so much homegrown free jazz… The hour passed too quickly. I loved it.
The full review can be found on Mike’s website at:
The trio are currently mixing their debut album. Please keep an eye out for news about the album’s release and upcoming gigs.