Thursday, May 13, 2010

Eric Dolphy - Last Date (1964) (320)

"When you hear music, after it's over, it's gone, in the air. You can never capture it again."

This is Eric Dolphy's last recorded performance before his death of a diabetic coma in Berlin. Along with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Dolphy was one of the most talented jazz multi-instrumentalists. Last Date is a good display of his range, performing on alto saxophone, bass clarinet, and flute. Dolphy opens the set with a brief, wild bass clarinet introduction to Thelonious Monk's "Epistrophy", before easing into a more straight ahead approach. Dolphy's second solo on the Monk tune is a sublime example of his virtuosity, really following the changes while experimenting with the tone and jumping all over his range. Jazz flute is commonly misconceived as inevitably corny (it often is), but listen to Dolphy play on the ballad "You Don't Know What Love Is" - truly sentimental, soulful playing. The all-Dutch rhythm section features renowned drummer Han Bennink, the closest living personification of the Muppet's Animal. For someone who later worked with Peter Brötzmann and Derek Bailey, Bennink really sits back on this one. I'm attaching the head of "South Street Exit" so you can play along. Enjoy!


1. Epistrophy
2. South Street Exit
3. Madrig Speaks, the Panther Walks
4. Hypochristmutreefuzz
5. You Don't Know What Love Is
6. Miss Ann


Eric Dolphy, flute, bass clarinet, alto saxophone
Misja Mengelberg, piano
Jacques Schols, bass
Han Bennink, drums
Recorded: June 2, 1964, Hilversum, Holland

Fontana 822 226-2


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