The Lloyd McNeill Quartet - Washington Suite
Lloyd McNeill’s hypnotic Washington Suite was originally commissioned as a piece of music for the Capital Ballet Company, in Washington, DC, and first released as a private-press album in 1970 on flautist Lloyd McNeill’s own Asha Record label.
Featuring Marshall Hawkins on bass, Eric Gravatt on drums and Gene Rush on electric piano, the group's cool soul-jazz sound expanded on their 1969 album, Asha, incorporating classical instruments such as oboe, basson and french horn, alongside McNeill's flute within this deep spiritual jazz masterpiece.
Lloyd McNeill is an African-American flautist, painter, poet, and photographer born in Washington, D.C. in 1935. His multidisciplinary creative life led to encounters and friendships with Nina Simone, Picasso, Eric Dolphy, Nana Vasconceles and other legendary cultural figures.
McNeill grew up through the era of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and his life and work is a reflection of those ideals. In the mid-1960s he moved to France where he became friends with Picasso, working with a number of émigré-jazz musicians whilst living in Paris. In the late 1960s he taught jazz and painting workshops at the New Thing Art and Architecture Center in Washington. In the 1970s he travelled throughout Brazil and West Africa studying music and taught music anthropology in the US.
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