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The monthly Tea Break is a series of short, fun items in What's New Magazine that also gives jazz musicians an opportunity to update us with what they are doing. Here are the Tea Breaks they (and I) have taken since 2015.

Calum Gourlay (Bass) - May 2016


Calum Gourlay


Calum Gourlay is one of the UK's top bass players. Born in Glasgow, Calum first played cello in primary school and started playing double bass at fourteen. He was spotted by Tommy Smith and invited to join Scotland’s first Youth Jazz Orchestra and in 2004, he went to the Royal Academy of Music in London graduating with first class honours with a B.Mus. (Jazz) degree in 2008.  Since then he has become a leading bass player on the UK jazz scene performing with the Kit Downes Trio (Kit and James Maddren were his flat-mates at college), The Tommy Smith Group, Will Vinson, The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and many other groups. His debut solo album Live At The Ridgeway was released in 2015.  Much sought after as he is, we invited him to take time out for a tea break:


Hi Calum, tea or coffee?

Coffee please Ian.

Hob Nob, Bourbon, Garibaldi or digestive biscuit?

Garibaldi. Obviously.

Charles Mingus, Jaco Pastorius or Scott LaFaro?

Oh man. I've had big phases with all these guys. I guess Jaco at the moment as I'm trying to re-learn the electric bass. His instructional video is on YouTube and I think it's one of the best explanations of how to play an instrument I've ever seen.It seemed like everything Jaco touched turned to gold but it's worth remembering the amount of work he put in on the instrument in order to sound that good. But Mingus was one of the greatest musicians of the last 100 years. And Scotty changed the last half of the century for bass players ... I can't pick just one!


Here is a video of Jaco Pastorius talking about Arpeggios and Double Stops.



Milk and sugar?

I'm currently trying to avoid both of those things!


Calum Gourlay

What gigs have you played recently?

Miles Ahead/Sketches of Spain with Gwilym Simcock, James Maddren and City of London Sinfonia horns last week.Gareth Williams trio at Wakefield Jazz. Thelonious at the Vortex every month playing Monk's tunes. I've also been recording some Hendrix-inspired music with Harpist and Composer Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian and guitarist Chris Montague.




What have you got coming up in the next couple of months?

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra playing Brubeck in April. Tom Bancroft's Trio Red in May. .... and I'll be turning 30!


Calum plays regularly with the SNJO. Here is a video of him playing with the Orchestra
when they featured the amazing pianist Makoto Ozone.




Click here for our review of their recording with Makoto Ozone Jeunehomme].



Gabriel Latchin

Who else have you heard recently that we should listen out for?

Conor Chaplin an amazing bass player. Gabriel Latchin an amazing pianist.

Gabriel Latchin

Another biscuit?

I've had 4 Garibaldi's - I think that's too many!



Listen to Calum playing solo bass on Duke Ellington's Solitude.





Click here for our review of Calum's 2015 debut solo album Live At The Ridgeway.


Utah Teapot


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More Tea Breaks
Tracks Unwrapped
Full Focus
Jazz Remembered

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