Two men, five guitars, one really good night

Jazz musician Stuart McCallum
Jazz musician Stuart McCallum
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Jazz musician Stuart McCallum plays the Continental in Preston on Sunday, February 2.

The Cinematic Orchestra guitarist released his acclaimed Naim debut album of ambient jazz-electronica last year and the Mancunian is back with a new long player Distilled Live, recorded during the 40-date European tour.

McCallum premiered the studio version of Distilled at Royal Northern College of Music’s Opera Theatre during Manchester Jazz Festival in 2011, with a 16-piece ensemble and stunning visuals from artist Linder, heralded for her iconic Orgasm Addict artwork for Buzzcocks.

The Distilled dynasty marks an unforgettable time in Stuart’s life, who became a parent for the first time one week after the release of Distilled.

He says: “I’m glad that I managed to finish the album before we had the baby!

“Although I’ve had a lot less time to myself than I’m used to, I’ve still written a lot of music this year – it’s been a wonderfully inspiring time.”

McCallum has now been invited to tour the UK in an acoustic guitar duo with Mike Walker (of The Impossible Gentlemen), scored a ballet that will premiere at le Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris in January 2013, composed, recorded and performed original music for Tokyo’s Ropponghi Art Night (alongside Nitin Sawhney and Ghostpoet), contributed to the new album from Richard Spaven (drummer with Flying Lotus, José James and Gregory Porter) and is beginning to write the next Stuart McCallum album for Naim.

Mike and Stuart will use five different acoustic guitars between them, having first met nearly 20 years ago when Stuart was Mike’s student.

This recent musical collaboration came about because of a chance jam at a mutual friend’s party.

Mike’s debut album Madhouse and the Whole Thing There was released in 2008 – ‘a soaringly confident piece of idiosyncratic contemporary fusion’ (The Guardian).

Mike Walker & Stuart McCallum. Sunday, February 2 – 8pm. Tickets are £8.