February 2, 2010 – 4:06 am

Eric Dolphy’s first recording is listed as in 1948 when he was just 20. He was 36 when he died.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Last Recordings [Westwind, 1CD]

Live at Le Chat Qui Pêche, Paris, France, June 11, 1964. Ex SBD stereo. Released March 1, 1993.

Of the four tracks on this final Dolphy concert, only one, the 19-minute Springtime appears to have never been recorded for release. It starts off promisingly with Dolphy ululating on the clarinet. Visions of free jazz appear but soon the composition begins its middle-eastern tempo. It’s the empty desert at midnight and Dolphy’s clarinet wails uncomfortably but his trumpeter and saxophonist continue to stay with tradition giving Springtime its BeBop style.

Had Dolphy more time, perhaps he could have explained his new ideas. Both Donald Byrd and Nathan Davis actually make this music accessible and easy to listen to. They fill in the melody that Dolphy disregarded. The language of discomfort never connects because the pair are busy making everything sound harmonious. They were not alone in misunderstanding Dolphy.

Wikipedia has this comment from John Coltrane: “Although Coltrane’s quintets with Dolphy (including the Village Vanguard and Africa/Brass sessions) are now legendary, they provoked Down Beat magazine to brand Coltrane and Dolphy’s music as ‘anti-jazz’. Coltrane later said of this criticism: ‘they made it appear that we didn’t even know the first thing about music (…) it hurt me to see [Dolphy] get hurt in this thing’.”

The rest of the show contains Dolphy’s earlier compositions from 1960, all very traditional. These “last sessions” have been released several times before in Europe unofficially. They became widespread when CD bootlegs arrived. Thanks to Halowdance for sharing this version on Dime. Halowdance also had this to say:

“There are apparently many hours of recordings with these people from Paris, according to Nathan Davis. Reichardt (p. 66) notes: “Graham Lock in an article on Nathan Davis (The Wire, No. 22, December 1985): ‘These tapes still exist and are in the possession of Jacques Diéval, the French pianist who produced these sessions. Nathan told me that Donald Byrd had persuaded firstly Blue Note, then Columbia, to try and obtain the tapes, but on each occasion Diéval had apparently refused to release the Dolphy tapes unless the record company agreed to issue several of his own tapes too. What a stinker!’”

Eric Dolphy like Coltrane was ahead of his time. Unfortunately, Dolphy had even less time to get his ideas heard much less understood. Two weeks after this recording, Dolphy was dead on June 29. How fortunate then that we can listen to this recording.
- Professor Red

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Springtime [19:20] (bcl) [a click can be heard at the 8:29m mark] (27.7MB)
Track 02. 2.45 [10:05] (as) (15.4MB)
Track 03. GW [6:10](as) (8.3MB)
Track 04. Serene [7:58] (bcl) (10.5MB)

All compositions by Eric Dolphy. Tks 2 and 3 first appeared on Outward Bound (April 1960). Tk 4 first appeared on Out There (August 1960). As far as we can tell, Springtime was never a studio recording.

Eric Dolphy (as, bcl)
Donald Byrd (tr)
Nathan Davis (ts)
Jack Diéval (pno)
Jacques Hess (bass)
Franco Manzecchi (dr)
Jacky Bambou (congas on 2, 3)

From 1960 to 1961, Eric Dolphy recorded both as leader and sideman for Prestige Rocords. Here are all those tracks on this nine CD boxset The Complete Prestige Recordings of Eric Dolphy. Buy on the link to order the set.

  1. 4 Responses to “SHORT LIFE - ERIC DOLPHY”

  2. hey bigo, thanks!!! a good album that dolphy is on is booker little-out front. he’s also on oliver nelson-blues and the abstract truth. i have both in my garage. i have outward bound on tape.


    By Ed Saad on Feb 2, 2010

  3. Wow! I am familiar with Eric Dolphy’s work with Charles Mingus and John Coltrane, but it’s great to hear him as a session leader!

    Thanks, BigO!

    By Walter on Feb 2, 2010

  4. This is great stuff, here. Many thanx, Big-0!

    By Timmy on Feb 3, 2010

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  2. Jun 28, 2015: roio » Blog Archive » JAZZ ON SUNDAY: ERIC DOLPHY - PARIS 1964 (COMPLETE AND REMASTERED)

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