Point of Departure: Al Neil chapter excerpt

Point of Departure, a sublime online music journal, has published an excerpt from Journeys to the Bandstand

Published by the astute jazz critic Bill Shoemaker, Issue 86 (March 2024) of Point of Departure includes—in the journal’s “The Book Cooks” section—an excerpt from my chapter titled “Far Out: Al Neil.” The excerpt is from a section in the chapter that looks at the collaboration between Neil and American poet Kenneth Patchen in 1959. It examines how Neil and Patchen connected, their performances at the original Cellar jazz club, and a recording that represents a high point in the marriage of jazz and poetry (that happened despite Patchen having a traumatic dental surgery just before the recording).

Many thanks to Bill for publishing the excerpt, and to Nou Dadoun for connecting me with Bill.

Bill’s books include Music Farther Outside: Experimental Music During Brexit and the Pandemic, Jazz in the 1970s: Diverging Streams, and Arrivals/Departures — New Horizons in Jazz (co-author). 

Photo of Al Neil, Bob Frogge, Freddie Schreiber, Bill Boyle, and John Dawe, the original Cellar, circa 1958: photographer unknown. Courtesy Walley Lightbody.

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