All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Eric Dolphy

Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy

Eric Allan Dolphy was a jazz musician who played alto saxophone, flute and bass clarinet.

Dolphy was one of several groundbreaking jazz alto players to rise to prominence in the 1960s. He was also the first important bass clarinet soloist in jazz, and among the earliest significant flute soloists; he is arguably the greatest jazz improviser on either instrument. On early recordings, he occasionally played traditional B-flat soprano clarinet. His improvisational style was characterized by a near volcanic flow of ideas, utilizing wide intervals based largely on the 12-tone scale, in addition to using an array of animal- like effects which almost made his instruments speak. Although Dolphy's work is sometimes classified as free jazz, his compositions and solos had a logic uncharacteristic of many other free jazz musicians of the day; even as such, he was definitively avant-garde. In the years after his death his music was more aptly described as being “too out to be in and too in to be out.”

Dolphy was born in Los Angeles and was educated at Los Angeles City College. He performed locally for several years, most notably as a member of the big band led by Roy Porter. Dolphy finally had his big break as a member of Chico Hamilton's quintet, with Hamilton he became known to a wider audience and was able to tour extensively through 1958, when he parted ways with Hamilton and moved to New York City.

Read more

Tags

Photos

Albums

Album Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Sessions by Eric Dolphy

Musical Prophet: The...

Resonance Records
2018

buy
 

It's Magic!

Challenge Jazz
2012

buy
 

At The Five Spot...

Challenge Jazz
2012

buy
 

Out To Lunch!

Challenge Jazz
2012

buy
Album Out To Lunch by Eric Dolphy

Out To Lunch

Blue Note Records
2011

buy

Watch

Similar

Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Max Roach Max Roach
drums
Charles Mingus Charles Mingus
bass, acoustic
Anthony Braxton Anthony Braxton
woodwinds
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
saxophone, alto
Albert Ayler Albert Ayler
saxophone, tenor
Archie Shepp Archie Shepp
saxophone
David S. Ware David S. Ware
saxophone, tenor
Arthur Blythe Arthur Blythe
saxophone, alto
Julius Hemphill Julius Hemphill
saxophone, alto

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.

MUSICSTACK
Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers
AMAZON
CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more
HD TRACKS
Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads
CD UNIVERSE
Specializing in music, movies and video games
REVERB
Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.