Sunday, April 22, 2012

Eric Dolphy

When I was nineteen or twenty years old, I had a friend who repeatedly tried to introduce me to jazz. I was interested in experimental rock at the time, but jazz just never interested me. That all changed one Spring day about twenty years ago on a drive down to Austin from Dallas when we listened to Eric Dolphy's seminal 1960's album, "Out to Lunch". Not many epiphanies happen in one's lifetime, but that is an experience that is still crystal clear in my mind as a turning point... I'm not sure if it was helped by the beautiful day with the Spring bluebonnets along the highway, or by the fact that we were riding in a mid-sixties Ford Galaxie 500, or by the joint we smoked along the way... It was most likely all three, but it was one of those rare moments when you realize that you actually "get" something that you didn't get before.
This is a beautiful performance by Eric Dolphy on solo bass clarinet, an instrument he almost singlehandedly resurrected from obscurity.

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