The Adam Fairhall Trio

The Adam Fairhall Trio features Gaz Hughes on drums and Tim Fairhall on double bass. The trio was initially formed in 2008 as part of a PhD ‘practice-as-research’ project undertaken by Adam at MMU Cheshire.

The trio material plays on the ‘traditions’ of the jazz piano trio, sometimes revelling in the most orthodox way of swinging, sometimes playing free, but always with an unexpected ingredient in the mix. As with Adam’s other projects, each composition has a special character, or concept. For instance, the head of ‘Shootin’ the Agate’ (see media player) is a short, minor-keyed block-chord line that recalls the ‘locked-hands’ style of piano playing, but in this case the meter changes every bar, and the chords include close dissonances. This produces a percussive, cluster-like sound, resulting in a tune that is familiar and unusual at the same time.

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In ‘The Ballad of Parson’s Pit’ (see media player) pentatonic melodic cells are used as the basis of ‘inside-outside’ lines in a contemporary fashion, but the main pentatonic melody (which gradually becomes apparent as the piece goes on) is a theme that recalls centuries-old folk songs and marches.

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Notable gigs have included a well-received performance at the Manchester Jazz Festival 2009, and ‘Shootin’ the Agate’, as recorded at Adam’s final PhD recital, was featured on a 2009 edition of Radio 3’s Jazz Line-Up programme.