This CD reissue has rarities from three different Eric Dolphy sessions. "April Fool" and the alternate take of "G.W." are drawn from Dolphy's initial date as a leader, a quintet outing with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and pianist Jaki Byard. "Don't Blame Me" is taken from a Copenhagen concert but it is the two remaining numbers ("Status Seeking" and an unaccompanied rendition on bass clarinet of "God Bless the Child") that are of greatest interest.
In 1963 (probably July, though some sources place the dates in May or June), Eric Dolphy recorded some sessions in New York with producer Alan Douglas, the fruits of which were issued on small labels as the LPs Conversations and Iron Man. They've been reissued a number of times on various labels, occasionally compiled together, but never with quite the treatment they deserve (which is perhaps why they're not as celebrated as they should be). In whatever form, though, it's classic, essential Dolphy that stands as some of his finest work past Out to Lunch.
The companion piece to Conversations (recorded at the same mid-1963 sessions with producer Alan Douglas), Iron Man is every bit as essential and strikes a more consistent ambience than its widely varied twin. It also more clearly anticipates the detailed, abstract sound paintings of Dolphy's masterwork Out to Lunch, in large part because this time around the program is weighted toward Dolphy originals. "Iron Man," "Burning Spear," and the shorter "Mandrake" all have pretty outside themes, full of Dolphy's trademark wide interval leaps and playful sense of dissonance.
For years, Last Date was thought of as Eric Dolphy's final recording until Unrealized Tapes (from nine days later) was released; Dolphy passed away only 18 days after performing this music. This LP from the European West Wind label features the great Dolphy on alto and bass clarinet with a sextet that includes trumpeter Donald Byrd, tenor saxophonist Nathan Davis and a French rhythm section performing four of his compositions including the otherwise unknown "Springtime." Eric Dolphy collectors will have to get this gem.
A quarter of a century after his death at 36, the astonishing saxophonist and flutist Eric Dolphy is still influencing and inspiring the most adventuresome jazz musicians. Dolphy was daring and iconoclastic while fully immersed in the jazz tradition. His musicianship was so thorough that innovators like Charles Mingus and John Coltrane held him in awe. In a dream partnership, Dolphy and trumpeter Booker Little made a handful of recordings in 1960 and '61, shortly before Little's own premature death. The first of them are in this album. Included is the rare "Serene," never before issued with the session's other material.
This two-LP set features the great multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy mostly stretching out on standards, coming up with very original statements on such songs as "Hot House," "When Lights Are Low," "Hi Fly," "I'll Remember April" and "God Bless the Child" (the latter taken as an unaccompanied bass clarinet solo), in addition to two brief originals. With trumpeter Benny Bailey helping out on half of the selections along with a strong rhythm section, the two-fer would be a perfect introduction for listeners not familiar with Eric Dolphy's innovative style, but this set is very difficult to find.
Allegedly Eric Dolphy's final recorded performance – a fact historians roundly dispute – this session in Hilversum, Holland, teams the masterful bass clarinetist, flutist, and alto saxophonist with a Dutch trio of performers who understand the ways in which their hero and leader modified music in such a unique, passionate, and purposeful way far from convention. In pianist Misha Mengelberg, bassist Jacques Schols, and drummer Han Bennink, Dolphy was firmly entwined with a group who understood his off-kilter, pretzel logic concept in shaping melodies and harmonies that were prime extensions of Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, and Cecil Taylor. These three Dolphy originals, one from Monk, one from Mengelberg, and a standard are played so convincingly and with the utmost courage that they created a final stand in the development of how the woodwindist conceived of jazz like no one else before, during, or after his life.
Other Aspects is unlike any other title in Eric Dolphy's catalog. The startling 15-minute composition "Jim Crow," recorded in 1962 with an unidentified rhythm section and operatic singer, shows his embracing of 20th century classical composition. Strong Indian influence is heard on 1960's "Improvisations and Tukras," featuring Dolphy's flute mixed with tabla and tamboura. The final three pieces were also recorded in 1960: "Inner Flight 1 and 2" are solo flute pieces, while "Dolphy'n" is a collaboration with bassist Ron Carter featuring Dolphy on alto. This music remained in the private collection of Dolphy's friend Hale Smith until the recordings were handed over to Blue Note in 1985. While Other Aspects is fascinating, and in its own way essential, it should be one of the final discs obtained for your Dolphy library.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Quite possibly the best album to feature the talents of Chico Hamilton and Eric Dolphy – a set recorded at a time when Dolphy was an up-and-coming player on the west coast scene! Although Chico Hamilton had recorded with unusual reed players before, Dolphy brings a depth of soul and spirit to this album that's missing from a lot of Chico's earlier work at the time – a style that still holds onto some of the measured qualities of the Pacific Jazz work by the Hamilton group, yet which also opens up into some of the darker corners that Dolphy would explore more on his own recordings of the 60s.