Eric Dolphy was a distinct and original voice at a time when jazz was in flux. A master of the alto saxophone, the flute, and the bass clarinet (which he introduced to jazz as a solo instrument), his solo style still has the capacity to startle with its wide intervallic leaps, a fiery tone on alto, the use of speech-like elements, and his own idiosyncratic logic. Widely considered an avant-garde figure, Dolphy’s work might better be considered as transitional, extending the lessons of bebop into new realms of expression as he continued to work with chord changes, albeit in an often abstract and angular fashion. His work, both as instrumentalist and jazz composer, remains a powerful influence.
Eric Alan Dolphy, Jr. was born in Los Angeles, California,... Read More