I shied away from investigating Eric Dolphy for too many years.
In my mind, he was tied to Ornette Coleman, free jazz (i.e. free of any tune or melody) and the more extreme, ugly squawks that come from John Coltrane in the early 1960s.
I was wrong but I only discovered it thanks to “risking” a Charles Mingus live album (Cornell 1964) by Eric Dolphy as the star soloist.
What I found instead was a multi-instrumentalist mega-talent who pushed established boundaries but never lost sight of where he was trying to go.
What Are The Best Live Albums By Eric Dolphy?
The majority of the albums under consideration either has Eric Dolphy as the band leader or as a featured soloist for Charles Mingus or John Coltrane.
You probably won’t have heard all these albums but your opinions matters. Please vote for your favourites and rely on other people to guide you to the best of the rest that you’ve missed so far.
What Other People Say Are The Best Live Albums Featuring Eric Dolphy
Digital Dream Door – 100 Greatest Live Jazz Albums including the following with Eric Dolphy:
- Live! At the Five Spot
- Charles Mingus Mingus At Antibes
- Charles Mingus Newport Rebels (my research says this is a studio recording)
- Live in Stuttgart 1964
BestEverAlbums.com – Eric Dolphy Best Ever Albums asks people for their lists of best albums and sorts them into artist, year etc. It recommend the following live recordings:
- At The Five Spot, Vol. 1
AllAboutJazz.com – Best Eric Dolphy Recordings recommends:
- At The Five Spot Vol 1
- At The Five Spot Vol 2
- Last Date
- Charles Mingus at Antibes
- Charles Mingus Cornell 1964
- John Coltrane 1961 Village Vanguard
- Charles Mingus The Great Concert of Charles Mingus
Wilson & Alroy’s Reviews – Eric Dolphy – this website gives albums ratings out of five stars:
- Live At The Five Spot, Part 1 – 2 stars
- Berlin Concerts – 3 stars
- The Illinois Concert – 3 stars
- Last Date – 3 stars
Mmm, they are clearly not the Eric Dolphy fans that I am.
NewYorker.com – 100 Essential Jazz Albums includes:
- Charles Mingus Cornell 1964
- John Coltrane The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings
Two Dolphy studio albums are recommended, Out To Lunch and Out There.
Of the jazz artist polls I’ve created, Eric Dolphy is probably the least well known, despite contributing so much to Charles Mingus in 1960 and 1964 and to John Coltrane in 1961 and ’62. However he is one of my favourite jazz artists provided he pushes the borders of avant-garde but doesn’t stray too far over.
I’,m hoping that when many more people vote in the poll, his live albums as the band leader don’t get swamped by his efforts for Mingus and Coltrane
Live Album Polls For The Great Jazz Artists
I have polls for the following artists: – Louis Armstrong – Count Basie – John Coltrane – Miles Davis – Duke Ellington – Dizzy Gillespie – Billie Holiday – Charles Mingus – Charlie Parker – Lester Young –
What Are The Best Live Jazz Albums Of All Time?
Please vote in my poll to find the best live jazz albums. While you may not have heard all of them, I see a vote as a recommendation to other readers.
What great live jazz albums have I missed?
You can see the complete list of readers polls at Live Album Polls.