Hm... Looks like Al Neil will not be actually performing as part of the "Al Neil Project" at the Roundhouse on the 10th (8pm, at the Performance Center; tickets at Grunt Gallery 604-875-9516). From the Roundhouse's website:
New Orchestra Workshop and Coastal Jazz and Blues collaborate to produce a concert featuring Al Neil’s ultimate tribute band with Gregg Simpson on Drums Clyde Reed on Bass and Vancouver improviser Paul Plimley on piano, Georgio Magnanensi on samples and performance poetry by Kederick James. Al’s partner, artist Carol Itter will work with VJ Krista Lomax to produce images for the event. In conjunction with the 4th LIVE Biennial of Performance Art presents 4 evenings of interdisciplinary work by and inspired by Vancouver innovator Al Neil.
Al Neil’s careers as a musician, composer, writer, bricoleur, and performance artist has spanned the past 60 years. His influence on many different artistic communities in Vancouver has been profound and enduring. This project looks at Neil as an innovator and a seminal force in the multi-disciplinary practices that have flourished on the West Coast over the past 40 years.
... but really, then, this is a Paul Plimley show. I always find Plimley an odd experience to watch perform; his face, manner, style of dress, and innocent sincere smile all kind of make it look like he' s wandered in from Sesame Street, or maybe Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. He plays, however, lyrically, passionately, deftly, and in a fashion that, well, reminds me not at all of Al Neil, whose music is far more fractured and decayed -- it can actually be quite disturbing (I'm thinking of stuff off Boot and Fog, mostly, which, among other things, turns "Over the Rainbow" into something way druggy and damaged, a truly intoxicating bit of disorder if one chooses to surrender to it)... It's kind of an odd mix. Cool that Georgio from Vancouver New Music (praised as part of my Fred Frith article, below) is playing. Alas, I'm going to miss the gig, but anyone interested in an unusual night of music is recommended to check it out... Who knows, maybe Neil will pitch in a bit himself (he did get out to that John Oswald gig a couple of months ago -- Oswald name-checked him from the stage...).