Music Is A Mission

Stuart McCallum - Distilled - out on Naim Jazz



Stuart McCallum Distilled
Stuart McCallum - Distilled
(CD/Digital) Naim Jazz/Harmonia Mundi NAIMCD169, 2011-11-10

Manchester guitarist and composer Stuart McCallum is best known for his work with The Cinematic Orchestra. The distinctive, ethereal and atmospheric sound of his guitar has been at the heart of their sound since 2004, including on the albums Ma Fleur and Live At The Royal Albert Hall and the award winning soundtrack The Crimson Wing. His own music influenced by jazz and DJ Culture is a distillation of many influences, creating a sound that is concentrated and distinctive. McCallum who admits to influences from Wes Montgomery to Bjork, Flying Lotus to Bon Iver and James Blake to Bill Frisell, as well as modern art, eschews over complicated harmonic and rhythmical structures in favour of a rich mix of electronica and improvisation enriched by elegant orchestral writing. Distilled, McCallum's brilliant third album, and first for new label Naim, is a culmination of the music he has written over the last few year and the idea of ‘distillation' is right at the heart of how the record was written…

Stuart McCallum Distilled
Stuart McCallum - Distilled
(CD/Digital) Naim Jazz/Harmonia Mundi NAIMCD169, 2011-11-10

Tracklisting :
01. dR Doctor 05:10
02. Hillcrest Part I 03:44
03. Hillcrest Part II 04:40
04. La Cigale 08:32
05. Fokey Dokey 05:43
06. Vital Space 05:33
07. Lament For Levenshulme 6:48
08. Inflight 06:41
09. Part 3 04:34
10. Distilled 06:02

Links :
Stuart McCallum : official | discogs | facebook | myspace | twitter | youtube
Naim label : official | discogs | facebook | myspace | soundcloud | twitter | youtube


‪Stuart McCallum - Distilled (album documentary)‬

Press Release :
Manchester guitarist and composer Stuart McCallum is best known for his work with Cinematic Orchestra. The distinctive, ethereal and atmospheric sound of his guitar has been at the heart of their sound since 2004, including on the albums 'Ma Fleur' and 'Live At The Royal Albert Hall' and the award winning soundtrack ‘The Crimson Wing'. His own music influenced by jazz and DJ Culture is a distillation of many influences, creating a sound that is concentrated and distinctive. McCallum who admits to influences from Wes Montgomery to Bjork, Flying Lotus to Bon Iver and James Blake to Bill Frisell, as well as modern art, eschews over complicated harmonic and rhythmical structures in favour of a rich mix of electronica and improvisation enriched by elegant orchestral writing.

Distilled, McCallum's brilliant third album, and first for new label Naim, is a culmination of the music he has written over the last few year and the idea of ‘distillation' is right at the heart of how the record was written. McCallum ‘sampled' the best bits of his compositions, using them as the basis for further writing, before again sampling the results, and so on, until arriving at the perfectly distilled version of what he wanted to say. The result is a sublime slice of ambient-jazz-electonica with beautiful melodies and gorgeous soundscapes. But it isn't just the process, McCallum's own music is ‘distilled': simple, memorable and melodic, minimalist and repetitive like modern dance music. His music owes as much to dance music as it does jazz. McCallum's music thrives in the spaces between genres and on Distilled the improvisation is part of the compositional process. But it's his use of technology that helps give the music its unique sound, be it looped instruments, samples, or his ethereal guitar McCallum utilises technology to create unique soundscapes, that are in equal part performance, composition and improvisation.

Distilled's arguable ‘super-group' features McCallum on guitars and sampler alongside fabled New York jazz bassist Ira Coleman and Zero 7's Robin Mullarkey, harpist Rachel Gladwin (best known in the jazz world for her work with Matthew Halsall), drummer Dave Walsh (often found on tour with Tom McCrae), legendary Manchester based percussionist Chris Manis and Iain Dixon on woodwinds. Amongst the albums key tracks are Part 3, part of a suite that McCallum wrote for John Surman after a commission from Manchester Jazz festival. There are samples of the music from this suite in the tracks Lament for Levenshume and dR Doctor but it here that we here the most intact version of the original written music. The soaring Inflight was written on a flight to Australia and perfectly captures the sprit of motion. La Cigale, named after the venue in Paris, features a sample of a string quartet movement that McCallum wrote while sitting in a tour bus outside the venue. But it is dR Doctor, the opening track, which presents the clearest statement of what the album is about. Simple and melodic, with a catchy bass line and drum beat, the sampled strings are from the suite McCallum wrote for Surman and the rest of the track grew around the sample, a perfect example of how McCallum has distilled his music and which like a great Scotch proves that in the hands of an artist the perfect blend is one Distilled.

Stuart launched Distilled, at the invitation of Manchester Jazz Festival, in the summer of 2011, with Stuart sitting pproudly at the heart of a 16-piece ensemble, conducted by Ben Cottrell (recently praised for his orchestral arrangements for Mercury Prize nominated Everything Everything and his own jazz ensemble Beats & Pieces), where some of the talent that featured on the new album were re-united for a special one-off spectacle in the Royal Northern College of Music's Opera Theatre.

"Guitarist Stuart McCallum's compositions are exemplary of everything that is exciting about new British jazz." Jazzwise
" Simple, understated and hypnotic he had the audience locked in and silent...Living proof that less is more". Jez Nelson, Jazz on 3


‪Stuart McCallum - dR Doctor‬

French info :
Stuart McCallum est le guitariste du Cinematic Orchestra. Le son éthéré et atmosphérique du musicien de Manchester est l’un des signes distinctifs du groupe depuis 2004. Comme le révèle l’écoute de son troisième album solo, McCallum admet que ses influences s’étendent de Wes Montgomery à Björk, de Flying Lotus à Bon Iver, en pas- sant par James Blake et Bill Frisell. Cet enregistrement se trouve au carrefour de l’improvisation, du jazz, de l’ambient et de l’electronica. Un soin très particulier est apporté à la pro- duction, et les paysages musicaux créés – souvent à partir de samples - sont profonds et mélodiques, rappelant par moment les meilleures productions du label Ninja Tune. Un album élégant et attrayant, gravé en compagnie de la fine fleur des instrumentistes anglais.
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