Musician, composer, artist, writer. Al (Alan Douglas) Neil was born in 1924. He was a student of Glenn Nelson and Jean Coulthard. As a jazz pianist, however, he was largely self-taught. He began playing bebop in Vancouver clubs in the late 1940s, as both sideman and leader. A central figure at the Cellar, a musician-operated Vancouver club, Neil accompanied musicians like Carl Fontana, Art Pepper, and Sonny Red. After a brief period of inactivity, Neil returned to music in 1965 with a trio featuring Richard Anstey on bass and Gregg Simpson on drums. It was at this time that his performance style underwent a remarkable change, becoming freer and more idiosyncratic. Neil is also an author and visual artist. His novel Changes was published in 1975 by Coach House, and he has had a solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, West Coast Lokas (1972).
Discrete project sites documenting the work of specific artists and collectives in detail.
Essays and conversation providing a context for exploring the Project Sites and Archives.
Video interviews conducted between December 2008 and May 2009 reflecting on Vancouver’s art scene in the sixties.