Second-handed Blues by Adam Fairhall and Paul J Rogers
Second-Handed Blues is the debut album by Adam Fairhall (piano) and Paul J Rogers (electronics, sound sculpture and other instruments). Innovative but highly listenable, The music often includes artefacts from the far reaches of jazz history a vocal line from a 1920s vaudeville blues record, perhaps, or strains from a Scott Joplin rag and mixes them with contemporary idioms and techniques to create a playful dialogue between styles, eras and technologies.
Although the music is wide-ranging in its reference points, each piece has a distinct character and composition, and revolves around a particular clutch of source elements. For instance, the second track, Catfish, shows that the percussive delta blues guitar of Robert Petway, a piano part that draws on McCoy Tyners idiom and a 7/4 time signature can work together to produce a propulsive, soaring type of music. The track suggests affinities between the source materials while at the same time creating a new sound.
Adam Fairhalls piano-playing reveals a love of jazz piano from ragtime, boogie and stride to post-bop and free jazz. These styles feed into a highly personal vocabulary that is percussive, lyrical and playful by turns, revealing a distinct but complex piano voice that is as forward-looking as it is mindful of the past. Although this is Adams first album as co-leader, he is already establishing himself as a creative artist on the British scene. He is the current recipient of the Manchester Jazz Festivals Originals commission, and was selected for edition VI of Serious Productions prestigious Take Five artist development scheme.
Paul J Rogers is a musical polymath, able to draw on a huge range of sound sources, technologies and instruments in order to realise his ideas. His interest in Americana, innovative sound production and the musical potential inherent in objects of all kinds (broken and intact) is apparent in his work as a central member of The Long Dead Sevens (Beta-lactam Ring Records), and is in full evidence in Second-Handed Blues. Pauls experience as an instrumentalist and songwriter ensures that his sound sculpture and production contributions demonstrate a rare musicality and sensitivity to the emerging character of each song.