Image of Nick Malcolm

Jamie Harber catches up with Bristol-based trumpet player and composer, Nick Malcolm.

We’ve been checking-in with promoters and artists throughout the South to see how their lockdown experience has been, and how they’ve been adjusting to the new normal.

What was your first ever encounter with jazz?

I was given a cassette in my Christmas stocking of Miles Davis and Gil Evans’ ‘Sketches of Spain’ record when I was like eleven. I remember being completely astonished that the trumpet could sound so dark.

Name a track you wish you’d written.

To continue the Miles theme I’m currently playing Wayne Shorter’s ‘Fall’ a lot, from Miles’ Nefertiti album. The emotional range of that quintet is remarkable and I think that piece shows them at their most emotionally eloquent.

Who have you been listening to recently?

I’ve been really enjoying Pat Thomas and Matana Roberts’ new duo album ‘The Truth‘ as well as my buddy (and fabulous guitarist) Dan Waldman’s album ‘Sources and Angles‘. Also on quite a Schubert piano sonata kick – check out the Wilhelm Kempf recordings form the 60s. Sublime.

Favourite gig you’ve ever been to and why?

The one that has stayed with me the most is Roscoe Mitchell at Cafe Oto in 2013. He was with his regular drummer Tani Tabbal and the great John Edwards on bass. Also Kikanju Baku sat in. It’s some of the most confrontational music I’ve ever heard, both from band to audience but also amongst the musicians themselves. They just stood there and roared and it was like ‘Can you deal with this?’. I remember finding the first half an hour very challenging but then it became one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had with live music. That was a big lesson for me I think.

Any livestream concert recommendations?

The Vortex. A true British Jazz institution and putting some lovely things on.

What advice do you have for fellow musicians adjusting to the current situation?

Lots of practice, exercise and good wine; minimal Social Media.

Have you been working on any new material recently?

Yes! So I have a new duo album out – ‘Chat‘. It’s a series of improvised duets with the great UK vibraphonist and improviser (and presenter of BBC Radio 3’s ‘Freeness’) Corey Mwamba. Hands down one of the best improvisers the UK has ever produced.

I’ll also be releasing an album from my originals band jade later this year.

What are your post-lockdown plans?

Really looking forward to getting out into the world with the band I co-lead with bassist Olie Brice, ‘Out Front’. It’s a quintet with Olie on bass, Dave Smith on drums and myself, Jake McMurchie and Jason Yarde up front. We managed to do one gig before lockdown and it was a great deal of fun!

You can find Nick Malcolm on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and visit his website here.

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