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Things We Did Last Summer

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Album Review

Recorded live in Copenhagen in 1983, Things We Did Last Summer showcases trumpeter John McNeil performing with his quintet. During the summer of that year, McNeil toured Europe as an instructor for the Jamey Aebersold jazz camps. This show worked as the camp's graduation farewell concert and featured McNeil alongside the rest of the camp instructors. Backing McNeil here are saxophonist David Liebman (whose titanic presence alone makes this a notable recording), pianist Jim McNeely, bassist Ron McClure, and drummer Ed Soph. While McNeil was certainly known as a lyrical, standards-centric player in the late '70s and early '80s, he was also an adept post-bopper with an inclination toward harmonically adventurous lines, a combination that brings to mind trumpeter Kenny Dorham. Here, both sides are well represented, with a mix of swinging standards including "Alone Together" and "Falling in Love Is Wonderful" as well as several originals from McNeil, Liebman, McClure, and McNeely. As with most of McNeil's albums, Things We Did Last Summer is a superb example of forward-thinking acoustic jazz made during the fusion era.


Born: 1948 in Yreka, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

John McNeil grew up in Yreka, CA. The little town off of I-5 wasn't exactly brimming with musical knowledge, but the tenacious McNeil still taught himself trumpet and learned to read music on his own. By his late teens the young trumpeter was playing in combos throughout Northern California; by the mid-'70s he was freelancing in New York City and gaining a reputation as an innovative, lyrical player. He performed with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra at the Village Vanguard, and led his own groups...
Full Bio
Things We Did Last Summer, John McNeil
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Aug 1983

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