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I have inserted some of my comments below because I needed to express my
feelings as I did this. I apologize for them, knowing how bothersome other
people's ideas usually seem when it comes to great music. They serve the
purpose of letting you know that I have the relevant music in my collection,
anyway. I have now listed things I don't have in bold type, and put a text
note in as well for people who get an unformatted version of this. Thanks
in advance to anybody who corresponds with me.
Some examples of Eric's school work: papers from
a physics course, which are actually all about music, though with relations
to physics for the most part. Eric did not seem to be a great student, based
on his transcript from Junior and Senior High School, with the glaring exception
of Orchestra and Band! From an early age he was clearly devoted to music,
which probably left little time to do the other work. I also read an essay
Eric wrote on Chief Justice Earl Warren's treatment by the press that had
nothing to do with music, and want to date it based on the original Nation
and New York Times Magazine articles he discusses.
One last thing: I went in about 1974 to Eric Sr. and Sadie's house, the
house Eric grew up in, to interview them on videotape. At that time I was
involved with a bunch of musicians/crazy people in making videotapes with
Portapak equipment (half-inch reel to reel black and white video), and we
had a weekly TV show on LSTV, channel 24 in San Diego called the Terminal
Timewarp Hour. So I shot about a half-hour of tape with Eric and Sadie in
their house that I planned to edit for TV etc. Unfortunately, some of my
comrades erased the first part of the tape, and I never got around to editing
it. I transferred it to VHS, and have now digitized portions of it, as listed in this table. I was terrible, but Eric and Sadie
were wonderful, told great stories, revealed something of their personalities,
and I shot some of their photos etc. and a bit of music. Anyway, the world
is much poorer since they died in 1988 or so. But Joe
O'Con bought their house intact and was using it as a sort of museum/community
center. Unfortunately, in the spring of 1992 the house was trashed during
the violence that erupted in LA. Much was lost, and I hope that Joe recovers
and continues his mission. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Dolphy archives will hopefully preserve both the air and the music.
When I visited Joe in December of 1995 we spent a
day going through some of his archives, and I am including some of the material
here. Joe has a bass clarinet
Eric used in the 1950s, the Wurlitzer electric piano Eric used for composing,
stacks of music that Eric had (sheet music, exercise books, etc.), tons
of paperwork, and wonderful photos. Among things I learned that day were
that the little studio Eric's father built for him wasn't put in until 1955;
in 1961, Eric's federal income tax return showed that he earned $4000 ($2397.46
income and $1608.60 in royalties etc.); the list of instruments Eric had insured
includes a Selmer alto, a Buffet soprano clarinet, a Selmer bass clarinet,
a Buffet bass clarinet, a Powell flute, the Wurlitzer, and a piccolo. The
most valuable of these was the flute, worth $600! There are a series of
letters from Hale Smith to the Dolphys from the late 70s, in which he mentions
sending them the scores to Love Suite (the string quartet Eric was writing
in 1964) and Red Planet. Gunther Schuller apparently has these now.
I tried to shoot some photos of the pictures in a photo album Joe has, an album I had first seen many years ago when we shot the video mentioned above. I've now put up scans of the slides I shot, even though they're extremely poor quality. Some of these shots are reproduced in better quality in Simosko and elsewhere, but some might be new to some of you.
Interview with Leonard Feather
Here are a series of sound samples and transcriptions from an interview that well-known LA-based writer Leonard Feather did with Dolphy. The date and other details are not known. Mark Ladenson provided it to me, and he got it from Bruce Robinson, who wrote: "According to Steven Lasker, who found it amongst Feather's papers on a tape with two Ellington interviews, it is in the public domain and can therefore be copied or used in any way you like. There is no definite date for the interview, which Lasker dates around 1964."
Index to portions of discography:
- Early recordings: 19 January 1949 - 20 May 1959
- Early days in New York: 1960 up to 11 November
- Prime days in New York: November 1960 - 9 August
- Europe, Coltrane: 30 August 1961 - 16 February
- Third Stream: 16 February 1962 - 2 May 1963
- Last recordings: May 1963 - June 1964
- Postscript and Filmography
The following indices are not yet implemented, and don't expect it too soon.
If anybody would like to do this, please let me know! The sound and video
samples work, but aren't linked to the discography yet so you might not
be clear on where they're from. Also, many of these are huge files so download
with discretion. Instead, I have now linked mp4 files throughout the discography.
Vladimir Simosko has supplied me with his indices from the latest (1996), though as yet unpublished, edition
of his biography/discography. I will try to get these up soon and attempt
to link their entries to the discography as time and inspiration permit.
Simosko's list as a table
Roy Porter band
Savoy 944, Savoy MG9026, Savoy SJL 2215, Knockout ?
Gerald Wilson Orchestra
Eddie Beal and Red Callender
Chico Hamilton Quintet
Pacific Jazz 10108/S20108, Pacific SPFJ-7048, King-Pacific Jazz GXF3117,
- alto saxophone
- bass clarinet
- soprano clarinet
- baritone saxophone
- soprano saxophone
- tenor saxophone
Simosko's list of tunes with solo notation
Simosko's list of Eric's recordings of his own compositions.
contributed by Albrecht Heeffer
- Early Recordings (Chico Hamilton)
- Early Recordings in New York City
- 1960-1961: Prime Stuff
- Late 1961: Mostly in Europe
- Third Stream and other work in 1962
- Final recordings
Dolphy-related recordings by others
by Kenzo Nagai
unfortunately now defunct.
Of particular note are the videos George Schuller has put up on YouTube of Russ Johnson's Out To Lunch performances at LeMoyne College on 7 April 2010, including Dolphy's Love Suite.
I deleted the scattered list of samples I've had here for years, given that I'm getting things linked to the discography. Here are a few pointers, though.
Silke Eberhard provided some wonderful bass clarinet transcriptions:
Hat and Beard
Lead sheet to Ron Carter's Rally, by Alejandro Pulido
Melody of Red Planet, by Alejandro Pulido
These are by the late Michael McLaughlin:
Joe Hellerstein's Dolphy Page
Joe has some transcriptions and samples: Serene and Miss Ann. Check it out!
Booker Little compositions:
Movies - note that better versions are now linked to the discography entries! And see the filmography.
Timex All Stars
Mingus in Antibes
Mingus in Oslo
Mingus in Stockholm
See also Postscript and Filmography for the whole rehearsal.
Interview with the Dolphys
To My Home Page
Date created: 1995
Last modified: 6 September 2016
Maintained by: Alan Saul