Last Date – Eric Dolphy

Eric DolphyEric Dolphy Last Date

Eric Allan Dolphy (June 20, 1928 – June 29, 1964)

Trying to play dolphy

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Young Saint EricFlut with a horn
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Jazz needs Eric Dolphy more than ever. A virtuoso on saxophone, clarinet and flute, his work bridges the two sides of a debate that dogs jazz fans and performers today. To oversimplify, the neoconservatives argue that jazz must be profoundly grounded in tradition, that new developments are little more than a gloss, and that history stops with Miles Davis and modal jazz in the middle ’60s, with bare whispers of Ornette Coleman and nothing from swingless radicals like Cecil Taylor. The rebels (most now older than the neocons) counter that jazz loses its essence by going backward, that the titans revered by the neocons were fearless innovators, and that the whole reactionary movement reduces jazz to a museum music with a self-righteous fence around it. Dolphy could have listened to both sides, picked up his horn, and showed the way out in a dozen choruses. But he died in 1964, barely 36, struck down by complications stemming from undiagnosed diabetes. (Salon Young Saint with a horn )

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