Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Eric Dolphy - Last Date

Eric Dolphy - Last Date (English) Eric Dolphy - De Laatste Sessie (Nederlands)

An Eric Dolphy collection - an almost complete discography

2nd of June, 1964
Hans Koert

One of the most fascinating musicians from the early 1960s must have been saxophonist, flute player and master on the bass clarinet, Eric Dolphy. When he passed away in Berlin unexpectedly, on the 29th of June 1964, 36 years old, he had left some great recordings - an impressive musical heritage.
Born at the west coast of the States he started his career in the Roy Porter Band and Chico Hamilton’s Quintet. He started to play the bass clarinet and became part of the Charles Mingus Quartet. He made records under his own name for Prestige like Out There and Outward Bound ( New Jazz 8236). In the early 1960s some live recordings were made at the Five Spot Café with Booker Little, Mal Waldron, Richard Davis and Ed Blackwell, which belong to the best in Jazz. He became a member of the John Coltrane band. Two recordings became landmarks in modern jazz, like the Free Jazz album by Ornette Coleman and his Double Quartet ( indeed: eight members Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Scott LaFarro, Billy Higgings, Eric Dolphy ( on bass clarinet), Freddie Hubbard, Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell) and the February 1964 Out To Lunch album with Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Richard Davis and Tony Williams on drums. Eric Dolphy, leader of this Quintet played the alto saxophone, flute and bass clarinet.
Enjoy Eric Dolphy and his Quintet in a German concert 1961.

In the spring of 1964 Eric toured with Charles Mingus and left definitive the States for a two-and-a-half week tour along European venues. The tour started in Amsterdam on the 10th of April with a night concert in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and ended on the 28th of April in Stuttgart ( Germany), now 45 years ago.
This series of concerts became remarkable as Eric Dolphy decided to stay in Europe. Mingus refered to this in his composition So Long Eric. Read all about this in one of my previous blogs titled Charles Mingus: Europe 1964 .
Enjoy a lenghtly interpretation of the standard Take The A Train with the Charles Mingus Sextet: Charles Mingus double bass - Eric Dolphy bass clarinet - Dannie Richmond - drum - Clifford Jordan tenor sax - Jackie Byard piano and Johnny Coles trumpet.

Eric hoped to find some more gigs in Europe then he found in the States, as his avant garde style of playing made it hard to find work and, on the other hand, he wanted to be close to his fiancée Joyce Mordecai, who lived in Paris.
Late May 1964 he was invited to play some concerts in The Netherlands by Paul Karting from the Rotterdam Jazz Society B-14. I visited that place, near the Hofplein I remember, regularly in the 1970s. On Friday the 29th, the day he arrived in Holland he rehearsed with the members of the Misha Mengelberg Trio ( in fact it was a quartet, but Piet Noordijk was replaced by Eric): Misha Mengelberg piano, Jacques Schols bass and Han Bennink drums; the day after, Eric rehearsed with the Boy’s Big Band, directed by Boy Edgar. In the great documentary Last Date, De Laatste Sessie, made by Hans Hylkema ( released some years ago) the members of the trio tell about their first introduction to Eric, whose technique was fascinating – the compositions he had brought with him, like South Street Exit, The Madrig Speaks, the Panther Walks and Miss Ann were hard to play.
Eric Dolphy with the Misha Mengelbeg Trio and Boy's Big Band at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam (30th of May, 1964) (photo Ton van Wageningen - photo courtesy Muziekcentrum Nederland)

Misha wanted to take revenge on Eric and hand him his composition Hypochristmutreefuzz, but even this “killer diller” was no problem for Eric. At midnight of the 30th of May 1964 they performed at the Concertgebouw, five weeks after his concert with Mingus. The concert started at midnight and featured Dolphy with the Misha Mengelberg trio and Boy’s Bi g Band. It would be great to learn that this concert was saved and could be reissued in the great Jazz at the Congresgebouw series by the Muziekcentrum Nederland ( Dutch Jazz Archive), which features previous concerts by Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan. At the first of June, Dolphy performed with the Misha Mengelberg Trio in café De Kroon in Eindhoven and one tune from that concert, Epistrophy, was released on an ICP record ( ICP 015). The next day, the 2nd of June, the Misha Mengelberg trio and Eric Dolphy gathered for a radio program at the VARA studios in Hilversum and this concert, which was reissued on Eric Dolphy – Last Date ( Emarcy 510 124) was give an exhaustive treatment in the documentary Eric Dolphy - De Laatste Sessie - Last Date. To show a sample of Eric’s playing enjoy his version of Epistrophy.

Experts label this concert as one of his best – fact is that Eric passed away some weeks later unexpected due of diabetics complications.

Eric Dolphy and the Misha Mengelberg Trio at the VARA studio in Hilversum ( 2nd of June, 1964
Although this concert is labeled “Last Date” these are not Eric’s last recordings. Nine days after he was in the Hilversum studio he performed in France and these recordings were released on two West Wind albums as Naima and Unreleased Tapes.

Hans Koert


An ERIC DOLPHY Collection - an almost complete DISCOGRAPHY.

Below you'll find a list of recordings in my collection which features ERIC DOLPHY. Learn all about the details in the online ERIC DOLPHY DISCOGRAPHY.

= prestige/original jazz classics sampler (1960)
= eric dolphy quintet/outward bound (1960)
= oliver nelson/screamin' the blues (1960)
= eric dolphy/out there (1960)
= eddie lockjaw davis/birthday collection (3) (1960)
= charles mingus/in a soulful mood (1960)
= new jazz/original jazz classics sampler (1960-1961)
= ornette coleman double quartet/free jazz (1960)
= john coltrane/the atlantic records - 6 (africa/brass)(1961)
= john coltrane/in a soulful mood (1961)
= eric dolphy/immortal concerts five spot cafe nyc july 16, 1961
= john coltrane/live at the village vanguard (1961)
= charles mingus/the complete town hall concert (1962)
= eric dolphy quintet-herbie hancock/gaslight (1962)
= freddie hubbard/skylark (1963)
= eric dolphy/sound (1963)
= eric dolphy/iron man (1963)
= eric dolphy/illinois concert (1963)
= charles mingus/the impulse story (1963)
= eric dolphy/out to lunch (1964)
= charlie mingus-eric dolphy/cornell ( 1964)
= andrew hill/point of departure (1964)
= charles mingus/live in oslo (1964)
= eric dolphy/last date (1964)

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Anonymous Tim R. said...

THIS.....IS BEAUTIFUL STUFF . Something this forum needs more of, IMHO.

That BLOG is very inspiring- I LOVE DOLPHY.

Post more when you can, please. I really enjoyed this

Tim R. ( Saxophone on the web forum)

6:56 PM  
Blogger Miguel Javaral said...

Its very nice to see your hommage to the great genius that was Eric Dolphy!!!

To make your almost complete discography a little more complete, I would like to mention the beautiful Coltrane record "Ole" (1961).

Miguel Javaral

1:00 AM  

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