Adam Fairhall’s 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 Manchester’s Band on the Wall, to great audience acclaim, and was voted the no. 1 gig of 2011 by journalist Chris Ackerley.
Baptist Prayer Meeting
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-imagines 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…”
Harlem Fast Shout
The live recording of the MJF performance was released on SLAM in spring 2012 to 4 and 5-star reviews, which can be read on the press page.
The Imaginary Delta are:
Adam Fairhall, piano; Chris Bridges, trombone/jug; Steve Chadwick, trumpet; James Allsopp, clarinets; Tim Fairhall, bass; Gaz Hughes, drums; Paul J Rogers, laptop/turntable/ diddley bow.