Bruce Freedman, tenor saxophone; Paul Plimley, piano; John Giordano, bass; Gregg Simpson, drums.
The period from 1973 to 1976 was important because first of all the WF was not only continuing the openness which had developed during the Intermedia years, but was fostering a number of experimental jazz ensembles who regularly rehersed and performed. This set the stage for the New Orchestra Workshop years (1978-82) when a greater degree of professionalism came into play. The NOW Creative Music Festivals which WF co-produced were a valuable precursor to present day jazz activities. We also got a chance to hone our skills as producers of concerts of other music than our own: Karl Berger’s Creative Music Workshops were seminal in attracting a whole new generation of players to this music. The many events (scheduled and otherwise) which Al Neil gave through the years was a testament to his founding presence in the jazz scene in Vancouver and continued to give him a quality venue for his work. The history I have with Al goes back to the trio (1965) and the Sound Gallery/Motion Studio/Intermedia years (1966-72). I always felt the WF continued something of the spirit of those days with the spontaneous collaborations and no holds barred playing. – Gregg Simpson