May is Eric Dolphy Month! or: Why Eric Dolphy is The Muse of Choice, or: How, under the right fingers, the Bass Clarinet can transcend mortal experiences4
May 1, 2011 by hhbrady
This, from the realm of pure creation: unfettered imagination and its corresponding diction…..
“Out in the waygoneshere, bullet-proof funky,” indeed. The above image of Dolphy was the old banner image for the previous incarnation of Sawtooth Wave.com– I use his images like Neanderthal man used cave paintings of Gods to summon and invoke and appease them….
Consider this the intro to a series of pieces collectively being “Eric Dolphy Month” (May 2011), where we’ll listen back at his works, as well as the book Eric Dolphy: A Musical Discography & Discography.
Ben Ratliff noted once that Dolphy’s distinct technique (huge intervallic leaps, speech-like phrasing) was, in the end, “not particularly influential.” Perhaps unfortunately very true. Perhaps some fanaticism might jibe that…. Perhaps some sculpted lunacy might inspire/infect others… and adjure them….
It’s hard to state how much I love the way Dolphy plays. It’s like that natural tendency you’ve discovered about yourself to abuse alcohol/ cocaine/ heroin… whatever drug it is you love(d)…. I wanna keep hearing him and hearing him….
He goes where he wants when he wants. He gets away with it. He exports alien, yet-improbably-human melodies and makes them work with the ear.
Metal heads dig him too….
Here, the impending audio evidence:
Live at the Five Spot I, II and Memorial Album (aka III)
Charles Mingus Sextet w/ Eric Dolphy: Cornell 1964
The Illinois Concert
Eric Dolphy in Europe,Vol.s 1, 2 and 3
Wherever I Go
Softly As In A Morning Sunrise (Live in Germany, 1961)
Looking Ahead (Ken McIntyre and Eric Dolphy)
Screamin’ The Blues (with Oliver Nelson)
Straight Ahead (with Oliver Nelson) and, finally,
All Dolphy, Most All The Time.