“Eric Dolphy was a saint–in every way, not just in his playing.”–Charles Mingus
In his tragically short life (1928-1964), Eric Dolphy was a titanic force in the development of the sixties avant-garde (or “new thing”) from the hard bop of the late fifties. The searing intensity and sonic exploration of his work on alto sax, clarinets, and flute derived in part from the concurrent innovations of Coltrane, Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, and Andrew Hill, among others; previous jazz styles such as New Orleans and bop; various non-Western musics; and modern classical music (e.g., Varese). Dolphy pioneered extended solo jazz compositions, was prominent in the “third stream” movement (led by John Lewis and Gunther Schuller), and remains a major influence on musicians today for the personal, speech-like inflections of his playing. Jazz scholars Simosko and Tepperman examine every aspect of this stunning musical achievement from Dolphy’s early big band work and association with Chico Hamilton to his own last groups in Europe, emphasizing the rich legacy of his recordings. Now completely updated to include the most recent discoveries concerning his life and recordings, this book will long stand as the definitive treatment of Eric Dolphy’s music.