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felser

Lloyd McNeill - Asha and now Washington Suite released on CD !

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This is a desert island disc for me, gorgeous stuff from 1969, my favorite flute music ever, and worth the price of admission for Eric Gravatt's drumming alone (though there is so much more). I've had this on LP for 40 years, and it's never lost it's magic. Listened to the CD this morning, and it sounds great, full liner notes, etc.

Asha on Amazon site

Edited by felser

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I'm glad to see you recommend it, felser. I saw the group in the fall of '68 and loved the show. I've never heard the album, but I put it on my wishlist June 2, and maybe I'll get it for Christmas.

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That was one of the first jazz albums I fell in love with when I heard it on AFN Europe after it was released. It haunted me, but I never was able to get a copy of the LP, only later releases of McNeill LPs. I have a transfer of a scratchy LP, so this is celebration time!

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Nice!

And those original Asha LPs are investment pieces worth hundreds of dollars. Or $20, if you want to sell it to me. :P

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I've been listening to my recently arrived vinyl Asha a few times now. I can certainly hear why it's proved a favourite for all those years, felser.

a revelation, thanks for the tip

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This was noted in a post by another member in the Discography forum, but thought I would also mention here that McNeill's 'Washington Suite' is also now available on CD! These are desert island discs for me, amazing stuff, and a dream come true that they are on CD. Is anyone familiar with a recording by McNeill and Richard Kimball entitled X.TEM.POR.E ? I've not heard it, am not sure if I should lay down $15-20 for it, as it is from about 20 years later, and I did not find McNeill's final Baobab recordings as compelling as the earlier stuff. Also, does anyone know if 'Tanner Suite' is available anywhere in recorded form? There are some clips on youtube.

thx

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I hope this means that we'll be getting more of his music reissued.

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Just to second (third?) what's already been said about these two albums - they really are both very good. Although I'm not normally too keen on the flute as a jazz instrument I must say that Lloyd McNeill's playing here is excellent, as is the drumming of Eric/Robert Gravatt.

However the musician that I think comes over best is the pianist, (Eu)Gene Rush. I must admit that his is a name I'm not familiar with. It seems he has been a Jazz Professor at The University of Memphis for 23 years. Does anyone know whether he is on any other recordings other than these two with Lloyd McNeill?

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Gene Rush plays on this one - Steve Novosel and Jimmy Hopps, too - but mostly service, accompanied congregational singing etc.

fatherherrera_jazzgoestocollege.jpg?w=300&h=298

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Listening to Asha now. This is great stuff. And yes, Eric Gravatt is in fine form!

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Asha clearly is one of the five all time greatest jazz flute albums, IMHO - it is the first on my list. Perfect all the way through. I'd have a hard time listing the next four ...

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Asha clearly is one of the five all time greatest jazz flute albums, IMHO - it is the first on my list. Perfect all the way through. I'd have a hard time listing the next four ...

Also #1 on my list, and Washington Suite is #2.

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Asha clearly is one of the five all time greatest jazz flute albums, IMHO - it is the first on my list. Perfect all the way through. I'd have a hard time listing the next four ...

Don't let Jonathan know that...he's thinking about releasing "Jeremy Steig - Flute Fever"! :huh:

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No problem here, I'll buy the Stieg.

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Grab them while you can.  Utterly beautiful albums.  I put "Asha" on my first BFT - no one ID'd it and everyone loved it.

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Thanks for the heads up.  Loved the sound clips and ordered both on LP.

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Posted (edited)

I have a copy from the first CD reissue of Asha (thaks to a friendly board member) and an original (but rather noisy) LP of Washington Suite, but this time I ordered all three CDs (they still have copies of Tanner Suite, too). Thanks for the pointer! I just love McNeill's melodies.

Edited by mikeweil

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I ordered Asha. I'll think about the rest.

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2 hours ago, jlhoots said:

I ordered Asha. I'll think about the rest.

Don't hesitate on Washington Suite.  You need it.

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1 hour ago, felser said:

Don't hesitate on Washington Suite.  You need it.

O.K.

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Posted (edited)

The Package arrived here a few days ago - sound is excellent. Good to hear Washington Suite without noise (pressed on bad vinyl, at least my copy, as it sounded that way from the beginning). It is still a mystery to me why a flutist of that caliber did not become known better or was offered a recording on a nationally distributed label. Maybe he was too modest about his playing abilities - I don't know. His music has haunted me with its melodies ever since I heard a few tracks on AFN Europe at the time Asha was first released. 

Edited by mikeweil

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I don't think he ever went after it.  I have had short exchanges with him twice over the years, and he is truly a renaissance man, and I think he has been even more drawn to art and photography than to music.  Here is his wikipedia biography.  

  

Having studied Art and Zoology in Morehouse College, Atlanta, he moved on to be the first recipient of Howard University's MFA degree. in 1963. In 1964-5, he did further study in Lithography at Paris' L'Ecole Nationale Des Beaux Arts. During his residence in France, he spent a considerable amount of time with Pablo Picasso and his wife, Jacqueline in Cannes. He has also studied music composition privately with the composer Hale Smith, music theory and flute technique with the jazz musician Eric Dolphy, and classical flute technique and repertoire with Harold Jones. McNeill taught at several institutes of higher education, and is Professor Emeritus of Mason Gross School of the Arts, at Rutgers University, New Jersey, having retired in 2001. Through the 1970s, and in addition to his position in Art, McNeill also taught Afro-American Music History, private flute lessons, and was instrumental in launching the Jazz Studies Program at Rutgers University.

McNeill has exhibited his paintings and drawings at several galleries and colleges in the U.S. Northeast. He published two volumes of poems: Blackline: A Collection of Poems, Drawings and Photographs and After the Rain: A Collection of New Poems. In 2007, Lloyd McNeill was chosen by the USPS to design a postage stamp for the celebration of Kwanzaa 2009.[2]

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