Greg Malcolm

We don’t do idiosyncratic well in New Zealand. Christchurch guitarist Greg Malcolm is the embodiment of the word, and sadly it’s worked against him here. Globally, Malcolm is one of an elite tribe of musicians embodying an ethos promoted through The Wire magazine: one of freefalling, no-jazz improvisation.

Having worked the European “improv” circuit, performed with legends of the genre Tetuzi Akiyama and Alan Licht, and released albums through staunchly experimental labels like Kraak and Psi Phenomenon, you might expect that Malcolm would have a fervent audience back home, but for the most part it’s a big “Greg who?” The thing is, Malcolm hasn’t piggybacked off appearances on TV talent shows, or released any emo-influenced, anthem-chorused singles.

Surfing USSR at Auckland's Golden Dawn, April 2013
Surfing USSR at Auckland's Golden Dawn, April 2013
The Greg Malcolm self-released tape from 1986
Greg Malcolm performs Lost In Time (from the DVD Some Other Time)
Greg Malcolm
Leather And Lacy, released in 2009 on the Norwegian Interregnum Records
Breathing Cage - Gary Sullivan, Jay Clarkson, Greg Malcolm-Boelee, Michael Kime
Jazz School from Greg Malcolm and Eugene Chadbourne, released in 2010 on the Polish Monotype Records label
Greg Malcolm

The full story of ‘The Ballad Of Peter Plumley-Walker’ can be found on Malcolm’s website, which satirises the episode by claiming that “public persecution” had forced him to tearfully board a plane and fly to Berlin, where they were questioned by customs officials. “After several hours of questioning the story of their persecution emerged and the pair were granted Artist Refugee Status Entry (A.R.S.E).”


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