Home » Jazz Articles » Adam Fairhall / Johnny Hunter: Winifred Atwell Revisited

Album Review

Adam Fairhall / Johnny Hunter: Winifred Atwell Revisited


Sign in to view read count
Adam Fairhall / Johnny Hunter: Winifred Atwell Revisited
Winifred Atwell was a gifted pianist, born in Trinidad, who came to Britain to study classical music at the Royal Academy of Music in 1946. By the early 1950s, a combination of talent and a husband who knew his way around British popular entertainment had established Atwell as a bill-topping theatrical and recording star.

Atwell's happy-go-lucky "honky tonk" style was a combination of American boogie woogie, which she had picked up from US servicemen in Trinidad, and British pub-sing-a-long pianism; goodtime music that brought a smile to the grim daily grind of post-war austerity Britain.

The uncomfortable wider social context was that many of Atwell's English fans would have been horrified if someone looking like her moved into the house next door to them. Atwell knew this, but if it hurt her, she never showed the wound in public. And, as the saying goes, she would in any case have been crying all the way to the bank. Until the arrival of the Beatles changed everything, Atwell continued to have top ten hits. In the 1970s she moved to Australia, her fame exempting her from the country's whites-only immigration policy. She became a campaigner against racism and the ill-treatment of the country's Aboriginal population.

On Winifred Atwell Revisited, pianist Adam Fairhall and drummer Johnny Hunter pay homage to Atwell's guileless, joyful music while also giving it an avant-garde tweak or two. Fairhall is well-known in this parish as the pianist in tenor saxophonist Nat Birchall's highly regarded spiritual-jazz quartet, and among his other projects is an experimentalist one with Hunter. Hence the tweaks. The two players push, pull and nudge Atwell's oeuvre just enough to give it a twist but not so much as to remove its smile-inducing joie de vivre. Good stuff.

Track Listing

Black And White Rag; Roll Out The Barrel (Beer Barrel Polka); If You Knew Susie; Taboo; Boogie For Atwell; My Old Man (Said Follow The Van).


Adam Fairhall: piano; Johnny Hunter: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Johnny Hunter: suitcase drums.

Album information

Title: Winifred Atwell Revisited | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Efpi Records

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album



Tone Paintings
Craig Davis
Yes Tomorrow
Paul Dunmall Quintet
Isn't It Romantic
Judy Whitmore
The Pan American Nutcracker Suite
Joe McCarthy's Afro Bop Alliance Big Band


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.