Malcolm MacFarlane recently received the Scottish Arts’ Council funded Scottish Jazz Award for guitar. As a jazz guitarist he has gigged, toured and/or recorded with many musicians from all over the world including: Jamie Cullum, Barbara Thopson, Tam White, Barbara Morrison, Salena Jones, Stacey Kent, Jacqui Dankworth, Jacqui Hicks, Claire Martin, Gary Husband, Peter Erskine, Alrid Andersen, Jon Christensen, Charlie Rouse, BBC Radio Big Band, NYJO, SNJO, SCJE, Marc Antoine, Maria Schneider and Florian Ross amongst many others.
As a commercial player he has also gigged, toured and/or recorded with: Matt Bianco, Tom Jones, David Essex, Barbara Dickson, Petula Clark, Eddi Reader & Shatatak amongst many others. In London he was involved in the commercial session scene and has recorded many library CDs, film scores and jingles including Steve Wright’s which have been broadcast 5 days a week for the last two decades. As a freelance orchestral player he has worked with: The Royal Ballet, Soloists of the Royal Opera House, RSNO, SCO (the Scottish Concert Orchestra), Sir Willard White, Jonathan Lemalu, Evelyn Glennie, Scottish Opera, Steve Martland, Carl Davis, Elmer Berstein, Charles Hazelwood, Northern Sinfonia, The Ulster Orchestra and the BBC SSO amongst many others.
More recently he has been focusing on composition and has scored films, provided music for audiobooks and written many pieces for the Red Note Ensemble. He has also led many of his own groups including the Scottish Guitar Quartet that he founded in 2000. In 2010 a ‘Jazz Expo’ project with his Jazz quintet and McFall’s Chamber performed 90 minutes of his original music as part of the Edinburgh Jazz Festival.
Malcolm has over 20 albums released – the most recent of which are, from 2017, “Silver Lined” (with the MacFarlane/McNeil group), “Contemplation” (2019) by The MM Trio. 2018 saw the release of the eponymous “Spoken Mirror” album, an innovative duo project with Allon Beauvoisin. in the more distant past there were 3 albums with the Scottish Guitar Quartet and various other projects from his London days and on his return to Scotland as a sideman (for example “Bacuris” by Mario Caribe).
Most of these albums feature original compositions and large scale compositions were also created for the NYJOS tour in 2017.
2020 has seen a focus on his duo with Ross Milligan – the “Two Tall Trees” and “Two Rivers Meet” albums plus the “Silent Hope” EP all recorded and produced in the 6 months from March to September. “Two Rivers Meet” has met with rave reviews including a 5 star accolade from Jazz Journal.
“The serenity sustained throughout this album is astonishing. MacFarlane and Milligan play with a tenderness and sensitivity that heals the soul“- Jazz Journal