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Richard Fairhurst is not just another aspiring young jazz musician, he is recognised by many as potentially one of the most exciting young talents around, both as a pianist and composer.

Aries Child
Richard is an impressive new solo pianist on the British jazz scene and he has made an impact so early in his career that he looks set to become a very considerable presence.....' Alyn Shipton, Gramophone Magazine 1996
Award winning pianist Fairhurst presents some mature and detailed compositions....'Tim Garland, Musician Magazine 1996
Richard Fairhurst



Biographical Notes

His progress since discovering the piano at the age of 15 has been phenomenal. Now only 22 he has won major awards for performance and composition since 1993, including the Pat Smythe Award for young jazz musicians of outstanding talent. More recently Richard has enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with leading British saxophonist Iain Ballamy. This led to a week at Ronnie Scott's in London and the formation of Richard's quartet "The Hungry Ants".

His debut CD "The Hungry Ants" (Babel BDV9504) was released in January 1996 and featured Iain Ballamy, Osian Roberts, Steve Watts and Tim Giles. The album incorporates original material written by Richard and reached number four in the Virgin National Jazz Chart.

Richard spent the first six months of 1996 on a scholarship in New York, developing his keyboard and composition skills. He subsequently performed with his own quartet "The Hungry Ants" at the Glasgow Jazz Festival, the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, in Cologne, Belfast, and other venues in the UK. His CD is now selling well within the UK and Europe. It is also available in Japan and there are plans for release in the USA this year.


Richard was selected as one of only two currently emerging jazz musicians to appear on John Fordham's BBC Radio 3's recent documentary on the British jazz scene, and "The Hungry Ants" have recorded a live studio session for Brian Morten's "Impressions' programme.

In March 1997, Richard and drummer TGFly (a.k.a Tim Giles), performed as a duo at the 3rd European Tournament of Improvisation in Poitiers, France. They achieved 2nd place out of 16 bands pre-selected for the final stages. The Hungry Ants are also booked to play at festivals in Senegal and Wiesen, Austria over the summer.

Richard has recently composed a saxophone quartet which was shortlisted for the Cornelius Cardew Composition Prize and he has also been commissioned to write a piece for the Leicestershire Schools Symphonic Wind Band and Contemporary Dance Group which is to be performed at the Edinburgh Festival in August 1997. Richard is now writing new material for a second album to be recorded in July this year.



Hungry Ants reviews
The Lions get ever younger. While these days it is not unusual to hear a twenty year old pianist as band leader - we haven't heard of a fifteen year old drummer since the members of the house of Marsalis. Usually such groups show excellent technique but only imitate the masters. These are totally different as they come from the circle influenced by Django Bates, from whom they have the ideas to vary tempi and harmonies with fluency and humour. Fairhurst, strongly in the mould of Chick Corea, and the drumming prodigy Giles, demonstrate the importance of playing together for a long time and the ability to listen to each other. So, while one hears an album primarily in the advanced mainstream mould, in the -classic- trio formation or when joined by saxophonist Iain Ballamy, it breaks out of the usual schemata and never fails to keep ones interest
JAZZTHING Germany - June 1996

Fairhurst is an impressive new solo pianist on the British scene, and he has made an impact so early in his career that he looks set to become a very considerable presence. On this album he is joined by two contemporaries, drummer Tim Giles and saxophonist Osian Roberts, as well as two hoary veterans half a generation older, but until recently identified as young Turks themselves, Iain Ballamy on saxophones and Steve Watts on bass. All the tracks on the disc are saxophone - plus - piano - trio - quartets, Ballamy and Roberts sharing the solo duties between them. Almost all the playing is of a high order, Ballamy's originality as ever standing out. This is as good a first album as the band's recent BBC Radio 3 debut, and they deserve to go far.
Alyn Shipton GRAMOPHONE MAGAZINE - June 1996


Here's an album that should rekindle the cynic's faith in youth culture. Award winning pianist Fairhurst (21!) presents some mature and detailed compositions together with pals (16 year old!) drummer Tim Giles, Steve Watts and veteran sax chippendale, Iain Ballamy.
In the first, extended, composition they create intensity whilst remaining relaxed. Tim's self assured and timbre-aware drumming gently swings with Richard working the harmonies with a constant sense of groove. Steve's beautiful style helps this unit create a fluidity of time and feel which is internalised to the point where real freedom can blossom.
There are Marsalis (Black Codes) influences, and witty Dance Club grooves, other worthy influences such as Human Chain and Perfect Houseplants also emerge, all to the pianist's strength as he develops his voice. Iain's soprano sounds particularly fluent, and on tenor he uses his beautiful altissimo register in Coward's Mad About the Boy. Supporting saxophonist Osian Roberts shares the same approach to Iain and sounds great on the Mingus track. Rats on Stilts Two conjures images of a scrap at a Trumpton fete, moving into a joyous piano outburst worth buying the album for.


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