Artist Info

John McNeil

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 at various area clubs. By the latter part of the decade, McNeil had joined the Horace Silver Quartet and secured a solo contract with SteepleChase. The label issued a flurry of McNeil releases, including 1978's Embarkation and The Glass Room, Faun, and (with Tom Harrell) Look to the Sky in 1979.