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ERIC DOLPY – SOUNDS ETERNAL
Taped in a small Dutch radio studio on 2 June 1964, there probably isn’t an album with a more poignant title than Eric Dolphy’s Last Date. At the end of “Miss Ann” we hear him say: “When you hear music, after it’s over, it’s gone in the air. You can never capture it again.” Four weeks later, on 29 June, he was dead. Last Date of course is so iconic, no need to describe it. Fortunately, someone did capture “something”! Mingus: “He had music in his mind all the time. I don’t know a time when he wasn’t playing or thinking about playing.” There is the immediate raw energy and burnished sound of Dolphy’s bass clarinet as he lunges into Monk’s Epistrophy, the virtuosic exuberance of his ecstatic flute (“Why shouldn’t I imitate birds?!”) in South East Exit, the fiercely authentic intensity of his alto in The Madrig Speaks, the Panther Walks – all familiar from earlier incarnations of these Dutch tapes on vinyl and CD. But never before have we been this close to the actual sounds of Dolphy’s genius as on this new truly superb transfer from HDTT offering us in almost eerily life-like sound “the scorching power of the man’s music and the exultant quality of his explosive solos” (Nat Hentoff). Absolutely mesmerizing! And if you don’t know it already, check out Eric Dolphy: The Last Date on YouTube.
The music and sounds made by the late great Eric Dolphy often to my ears can be disparate things. Dolphy was a ground breaker moving on the freeform jazz of the early 1960's. In a lot of his recorded output he can sound like a fish out of water as he always seems to do his own thing not seemingly playing with the other musicians. The 'Last Date' album finds him playing with a european rhythm section who seem to be playing the same kind of music as Eric. No longer does it grate to hear his sometimes discordant input as the contrast with the other musicians is less marked as they all seem to be playing from the same sheet. I thoroughly recommend this album to anyone who loves jazz. HDTT have done a great job with the sound which is immediate, vibrant and engaging and lives as does the music. Long live Eric Dolphy.
A top notch Jazz album in impeccable reproduction!
For many Last Date is Eric Dolphy's best album. You have to hear it to understand why. HDTT remastering/reproduction surpasses BY FAR all others on the market including the Japanese ones. The DSD is just incredible...!
Title: Last Date
Bass – Jacques Schols
Drums – Han Bennink
Piano – Misja Mengelberg
Flute, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone – Eric Dolphy
Recording Info: Transferred from a 15ips two track tape
Recorded in Hilversum (NL) on June 2, 1964
Originally released on Limelight in December 1964
1 Epistrophy 11:15
2 South Street Exit 7:20
3 The Madrig Speaks, The Panther Walks 4:50
4 Hypochristmutreefuzz 5:25
5 You Don't Know What Love Is 11:20
6 Miss Ann 5:25
Total Time: 45:36