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Paul Malsom

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Biography of Paul Malsom

Born in Bournemouth in 1964, Paul was introduced to music at a very early age by his Grandfather, who was a violinist in the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and through his Father’s record collection which included a variety of Brazilian music – Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd, Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Laurindo Almeida et al. Further inspired by Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Gary Moore, Paul started playing the guitar at the age of 15.

Paul had the usual electric guitars, Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul (copies!) but was always drawn to the sound of the acoustic guitar. After discovering Jazz music and a reintroduction of Brazilian music, Paul heard guitarist Charlie Byrd playing the music of Jobim and his musical direction was defined.

After hours of practice and hard study, initially with jazz pianist, Percy Pegg, a devotee of the Art Tatum, Errol Garner style, Paul started travelling around the South of England, busking and working in restaurants and hotels. Developing a solo guitar technique inspired by Joe Pass and Martin Taylor, whilst always staying with Brazilian and acoustic guitar, he also studied briefly with Brazilian guitar specialist, John Zaradin, depping for him at major hotels in London and Brighton.

Having developed a respected reputation in the local area, Paul was asked to give lessons which rapidly grew to a near full-time teaching position and he continues teaching to this day.

On moving to London, Paul met guitarist Branco Stoysin and together they formed Moving Colour playing venues such as Soho Jazz Festival, Pizza Express Dean Street, guitar festivals and arts centres including Euro Wirral International Guitar Festival and Bath International Guitar Festival. During this time, Paul demonstrated guitars for Korg UK, Takamine and Ovation and, with Branco, released the “Moving Colour” CD, which included original compositions alongside fresh arrangements of the standard repertoire. This received enthusiastic reviews.

Wanting to follow his own path, Paul then went back to the drawing board to develop his next album, which was homage to earlier inspirations, such as John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin and Egberto Gismonti. It also included his own original compositions. Guesting on the CD was Brazilian percussion maestro Bosco de Oliviera, with Javier Fioramonti on electric bass and 2nd guitar, and Dan Sheppard on double bass. This proved to be a well received and respected album.

Since attracting a management company, Paul has developed a very individual and successful solo set and is currently working on his next solo CD. In addition to working with artists such as John Etheridge, Mark Lockheart, Derek Nash and Karen Lane. Paul has opened for many artists including Georgie Fame, The Dankworths, Liane Carroll, Jane Monheit, Tina May, Tony Coe, Gwyneth Herbert, Phil Robson and Tommy Emmanuel. He has also appeared with guitarists Eric Roche and Preston Reed.

Paul’s performances are highly virtuosic, imaginative and expressive. Combined with his natural and humorous rapport with his audience, this gives a strong stage presence.

Quotes

“Think you’re brilliant. Always have” – Liane Carroll

“Expressive, fluent, varied and thoughtful – this is nice stuff!” – John Etheridge

“Very few guitarists can hold the attention for a whole set when playing solo, yet Paul can match Martin Taylor for that knack of “plate spinning”, keeping bass line, chords, melody and improvisation all in mid-air without ever dropping anything. A delight to listen to with great choice of unusual material and an even greater pleasure to play with” – Derek Nash

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