Early Recordings

Roy Porter, Chico Hamilton, others

19 January 1949 - 20 May 1959

Roy Porter's 17 Beboppers
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Los Angeles, California, 2 sessions, 19 January and 23 February 1949

Art Farmer, Robert Ross, Eddie Preston, James Metlock (tpt); William Wiginton, Jimmy Knepper, Danny Horton (tbn); Eric Dolphy, Leroy 'Sweetpea' Robinson (as); Joe Howard, Clifford Solomon (ts); Clyde Dunn (bars); Joe Harrison(pno); Addison Farmer , Roger Alderson (bass - Farmer in February, Alderson in January); Bennie White (gtr); Roy Porter (dr); Alvy Kidd (conga, bongos,perc); Paul Sparks (vcl).

Howard's Idea [2:58], Minor Mode, Gassin' the Wig [2:44], Little Wig [2:34], This is You [2:50], Love is Laughing at Me [2:49], Pete's Beat [2:36], Sippin' with Cisco [4:50], Phantom Moon [2:55], plus 3? unknown titles

According to S&T, a couple of these tunes were released by Savoy (944, a 78 with the Wig tunes, and MG9026, a sampler with Pete's Beat). I have these on "Black California", Savoy SJL 2215 (and EMI-Electrola(G)1C148-61390/391), a two record set of various artists, one side of which is this stuff (except for Minor Mode, which is unissued). The two altos trade licks on Sippin' with Cisco, and one gets an idea of how Eric's sound developed and relates to Sweetpea Robinson, who Roy Porter once told me was a fantastic player but who died young, I believe in an auto accident. Simosko swears it is Dolphy on the Wig tunes. Roy Porter now has an autobiography out in which he agrees with Simosko.

Charles Mingus and his 22 Piece Bebop Band (Stan Kenton's Sidemen)
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Los Angeles, ca. Spring 1949

Art Pepper, Eric Dolphy, William Green, Hadley Caliman, Herb Caro, Gene Porter (winds); Buddy Childers, John Anderson, Ernie Royal, Hobart Dotson, Eddie Preston, Vernon Smith (tpt); Britt Woodman, Jimmy Knepper, Marty Smith (tbn); unknown (possibly Laurindo Almeida) (gtr); Russ Freeman (pno); Red Callender (bass); Roy Porter (dr); probably Johnny Berger (perc); Charles Mingus (cond).

1. 28002A The Story of Love [2:36]
2. 28014A Inspiration, Pt 1 [1:45]
3. 28014B Inspiration, Pt 2 [2:15]

[the B side of 28002 was by Roy Porter]

Rex Hollywood 28002, 28014
This information from Chuck Nessa, who was working on getting these issued. They finally came out in late 2000 on Uptown UPCD 27.48, "Charles 'Baron' Mingus: West Coast 1945-49". The 2 sides of Inspiration have been spliced together into one track. Dolphy solos on Story of Love, based on certain little gestures that remind one of his mature playing, as well as on the testimony of Hadley Caliman. In addition to the excellent booklet that comes with the Uptown CD, see Stefano Zenni's essay about Mingus' early music.

Roy Porter's 17 Beboppers
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Los Angeles, California, ca. spring 1949

Art Farmer, Reuben McFall, Robert Ross, Kenny Bright (tpt); William Wiginton, Jimmy Knepper, Danny Horton (tbn); Eric Dolphy, Joe Maini (as); Joe Howard, Hadley Caliman (ts); Bob Gordon (bars); Russ Freeman (pno); Addison Farmer (bass); Harold Grant (gtr, vcl); Roy Porter (dr); Alvy Kidd (conga, bongos, perc).

Hunter's Hunters, Blues a la Carte, Sampson's Creep [2:58], Moods at Dusk [3:02]

This was recorded by Knockout in LA. Eric plays the melody on Moods at Dusk. Roy Porter was trying to get these released. Paul Karting provided dubs from Manfred Scheffner's 78s, and claims that Moods and Dusk and Sampson's Creep are transposed titles. It sounds to me like Eric on Sampson's Creep. The personnel may be wrong in places. Mark Ladenson hears the trombone solo on Moods as Jimmy Knepper.

Roy Porter and his Orchestra
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Los Angeles, California, ca. spring 1949

Art Farmer, Reuben McFall, Robert Ross, Kenny Bright (tpt); William Wiginton, Jimmy Knepper, Danny Horton (tbn); Eric Dolphy, Joe Maini (as); Joe Howard, Hadley Caliman (ts); Bob Gordon (bars); Russ Freeman (pno); Addison Farmer (bass); Harold Grant (gtr, vcl); Roy Porter (dr); Alvy Kidd (conga, bongos, perc).

Frantic Dream [2:34], Everything's Cool [2:25],

Rex Hollywood 28001-A and B. Paul Karting provided these, via Manfred Scheffner. Everything's Cool is the same as Little Wig, though not as nice a version. Again, the personnel is not certain.

Clifford Brown
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Los Angeles, California, ca. early 1950s (?)

Tentative personnel listing:
Clifford Brown (tpt, p); Max Roach (dr); Eric Dolphy (as); Walter Benton, Harold Land (ts); Richie Powell (p); ? (b)

Conception, Fine and Dandy, Wahoo, possibly other tunes

Philology W 1001.2 is supposed to contain a track that includes Dolphy. Our preliminary attempts to verify this from a dub provided to Simosko have been frustrating. There is no clear sign of Dolphy on this tape, which doesn't mirror the track list for the CD provided by Lonnie Newsome, although there are snatches of alto perhaps on a few of the tracks. Supposedly Dolphy appears on Tadd Dameron's Wahoo, along with Brown, Harold Land, Richie Powell, and Max Roach. This may have been recorded at a practice session in Eric's studio (which may not have existed until 1955), though the CD apparently claims it was recorded in Wilmington. Joe O'Con supposedly has tapes that may be the source (without his permission) for this bootleg CD.
Mark Ladenson informed us in late 2003 that other issues from Philology (there are apparently 5 Brownie's Eyes CDs) contain 3 tracks purporting to include Dolphy. He provided an excerpt that sure sounds like Dolphy. Marcello Piras corrected the speed on this bit of Dolphy soloing on a tune titled Conception.
There are actually at least 17 Brownie's Eyes CDs, which I now have, thanks to Allen Welsh. The link above and here is to the entire tune, encoded as an mp4 to keep its size down.
Philology W1006, Brownie's Eyes Vol 5, lists Crazeology, Old Folks, and Deception as date and place unknown, "Jammin' with Eric Dolphy". The first two are piano solos, however, with only a trace of an alto in the ensemble. Old Folks is presumably Brown on piano. The rest is up to our ears. Let me know what you think.
Philology W1004, Brownie's Eyes Vol 3, lists a Fine and Dandy with Dolphy. Listen to the alto solo and see if you think it's Dolphy.
Volume 4 has an unnamed track that I hope people will also check out.
Some of these have apparently been issued on several bootlegs with further confusing information.

Gerald Wilson and His Orchestra

Los Angeles, California, ca. early 1950s

S&T note a recording date. Apparently there were several, but nothing too exciting. Reichardt quotes Wilson about this from a 1981 Jazz Times article, mentioning The Platters and Ed Townsend, and then quotes Michael Cuscuna from a letter to Thierry Bruneau in 1985: "Gerald Wilson was a staff arranger for pop dates for Capitol in the mid-fifties. He used Dolphy on almost all the dates and this includes many known and unknown pop singers. But he told me that there are no Dolphy solos or leads. He really has no idea how many records there were or what they were. I think this segment of a Dolphy discography means nothing anyway. It could have been anyone reading the musical parts."
But this means nothing anyway. :-)

Eddie Beal Combo

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Los Angeles, California, 1957?

Eddie Beal (pno); Herman Mitchell (gtr); Clarence Daniels (bass); Eric Dolphy (baritone saxophone); Jimmy Owens (drums); The Platters (vocals); Robbie Robinson (ts).

Pussy Foot [2:37], He's Mine [2:20], Honey Buggin' [2:39], I'm Sorry [2:53], Breezin' [2:47](bar sax), Leadfoot [1:56]

Thanks to Paul Karting, we now have visual evidence that Dolphy appeared in at least one session with The Platters (Zola Taylor, Tony Williams, Herb Reed, Paul Robi and ?), the 1957 Roger Corman film Rock All Night.
Notably, he plays baritone saxophone behind this vocal group.

Thanks to Yas Saotome, we know that the soundtrack was released as Mercury MG20293. He provided the sound files linked above. Scans of the cover and labels are on the page linked above. I can't be certain that Dolphy is on these, but presumably this is the case. Finally, thanks to Mark Cantor and Buddy Collette for identifying the personnel.

Eddie Beal, Red Callender
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Los Angeles, California, ca. 1956-57

More undocumented information from S&T who got it from Lillian Polen, Eddie Beal, and Mrs. Dolphy. Simosko notes a possible reference to these by Jepsen in Jazz Records 1942-1962, Vol. 1, page 286.

See above (Rock All Night) for a date where Dolphy recorded with Eddie Beal. Also described there are a number of other dates on which Dolphy may have played, including sessions where he played flute, alto and tenor saxophone.

Yas Saotome sent a file of Toni's Tune, which, according to http://rcs.law.emory.edu/rcs/titles/t/to.htm was recorded 13 May 1957. This is from Antler 45-4006 (http://rcs.law.emory.edu/rcs/pics/d00/323.htm), the B side of The Blockbusters' Fulltime Baby. Yas thinks this might be Dolphy's first recording on bass clarinet, but it sounds like baritone saxophone to me.

Chico Hamilton Quintet
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Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, RI, 6 July 1958

Eric Dolphy (as,fl,cl); Nathan Gershman (cel); Hal Gaylor (bass); John Pisano (gtr); Chico Hamilton (dr,vcl).

I'm in Love with a Wonderful Guy [2:54](fl), I'm Gonna Wash that Man Right Out of My Hair [2:30](cl), Pottsville U.S.A. [8:18](as), Blue Sands [6:03](fl), Chrissie [4:01](fl,cl), Nice Day [2:36](cl)

The first three tunes were part of a radio broadcast according to S&T. The last is the haunting and hesitating piece featured in "Jazz on a Summer's Day" (New Yorker Video NYV-16590), with Eric on flute and on film. According to Simosko: "the first 2 tunes appeared on FDC(I)-1024, Pottsville USA- the best cut- hasn't been issued, and the excerpt from rehearsal in the film is from a piece called Lord Randall". The soprano clarinet on I'm Gonna Wash... is very nice, although it's only the melody with slight embellishment.
There are 4 Swedish CDs from the 1958 Newport festival. The last 2 tunes appear on one of them: NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL 1958, VOLUME 2: MULLIGAN IN THE MAIN (Phontastic PHONT NCD 8814). This information is from Peter Losin. He says: I know that there was a two-LP set of "highlights" from the 1958 NJF, released by CBS/Sony in Japan (40AP 2771/2), but I don't know if the Hamilton quintet is on it. As far as I know that LP hasn't been reissued as a CD. Simosko based the date of the Newport performance on Burt Goldblatt's "Newport Jazz Festival - The Illustrated History" (New York: Dial Press, 1977). Chrissie has some nice clarinet playing along with the flute, but no real solos. The samples here demonstrate some of Eric's soprano playing.

Ed Beuker prepared a complete listing, noting that the South Pacific tunes appear on the first three issues in this table:
Chico Hamilton Quintet Newport 4 and 6 July 1958
LP Newport Jazz 1958-59 Various Artists For Discriminating Collectors FDC1024 Italy
2 CD Charles Mingus - Eric Dolphy The Salle Wagram Concert Jazz Collectors JC 428 Spain
CD Gerry Mulligan/Chico Hamilton Complete at Newport 1958 Rare Living Recordings RLR 88639 Spain
CD Mulligan in the Main Various Artists Phontastic NCD 8814 Sweden
CD Jazz on a Summer's Day Various Artists Charly SNAP 191 CD England
CD Jazz on a Summer's Day Various Artists Charly CDGR 196 Germany
CD Jazz on a Summer's Day Various Artists Soundtrack Factory SFCD33539 Spain
CD/DVD Jazz on a Summer's Day Various Artists Charly SDVD001 Germany
VHS Jazz on a Summer's Day Various Artists New Yorker Video NYV-16590 USA
LD Jazz on a Summer's Day Various Artists CBS/Sony OOLF 2 Japan
LD Jazz on a Summer's Day Various Artists CBS/Sony CSLF 2349 Japan
LD Jazz on a Summer's Day Various Artists Herald SRLD-1973 Japan
DVD Jazz on a Summer's Day Various Artists Umbrella Entertainment DAVID0004 Australia
DVD Newport Jazz Festival Various Artists London Classic DVD 2012 Brazil
DVD Jazz on a Summer's Day Various Artists Korean DVD #12 Korea
VHS Dancing to a Different Drummer Chico Hamilton VCC Perfect Pictures   Germany

Chico Hamilton Quintet
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Los Angeles, California, 22 August 1958

Eric Dolphy (as,fl,cl); Nathan Gershman (cel); Hal Gaylor or Wyatt Ruther (bass); John Pisano or Dennis Budimir (gtr); Foreststorn "Chico" Hamilton (dr).

In a Mellow Tone [4:30](fl), In a Sentimental Mood [5:10](as), I'm a Lucky So-&-So [4:55](fl), Just Sittin' & Rockin' [5:10](as), Everything But You [5:05](fl), Daydream [3:30](cl NS), I'm Beginning to See the Light [4:55](as), Azure [3:00](cl NS), It Don't Mean a Thing [4:05](as)

This session was discovered by John Cobley, and was issued in 2000 on Pacific Jazz 7243 5 24567 2 7. Chico Hamilton did not remember this session, and does not understand why it was not issued in full. Here is the old listing for this before John's discovery:

S&T give a release of the first tunes (that was just Sentimental Mood and I'm Beginning, originally) on Pacific Jazz 10108/S20108, and say that George Avakian produced this session. They caution that the first two titles were recorded by Hamilton without Dolphy in January 1959. Swing Journal shows the 1959 session as Pacific SPFJ-7048 (now CP32-5364, which apparently includes this Mellotone), "Ellington Suite". Tepperman had originally listed Sophisticated Lady, but this was a mistaken substitution for Mellotone. On the first two tunes, Eric does some of his straightest playing on record. Also released on King-Pacific Jazz GXF3117, GXF3140 in Japan. In a Mellotone was originally released only on Pacific Jazz DJ7485, a sampler distributed to disc jockeys. Now included in the Mosaic box set of Chico on Pacific Jazz.

John speculated that the producer, Richard Bock, didn't care for Dolphy and thus arranged the rerecording with Buddy Collette and Paul Horn. Hamilton did not confirm that explanation, however. John provided the date and the personnel, saying it was Gaylor and Pisano. Hamilton said it was Ruther and Budimir.

Ernie Andrews
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Los Angeles, October 1958

John Anderson, Al Porcino, Conrad Gozzo (tpt); Bob Pring, Dave Wells (tbn); Marshall Cramm (b tbn); Gene Cipriano, Eric Dolphy (as); Plas Johnson, Bill Green (ts); Jewell Grant (bar sax); Gerry Wiggins (p); Joe Comfort (bass); Earl Palmer (dr); Ernie Andrews (vcl).

Travelin' Light [2:38], I'm gonna move to the outskirts of town [2:30], Until the real thing comes along [3:14], Bernie's Tune [2:38], Slide Mr. Trombone [3:12], I'm afraid the masquerade is over [3:28], Just You Just Me [1:43]

"Travelin' Light", Gene Norman Presents GNP 42 and GNP Crescendo GNPS-10008. Also recorded at the session were Don't Be Afraid, Someone I Love, and Julie is Her Name.

Chico Hamilton Quintet
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Los Angeles, CA, 26 October 1958

Eric Dolphy (as,fl); Nathan Gershman (cel); Wyatt Ruther (bass); Dennis Budimir (gtr); Chico Hamilton (dr,vcl).

Andante [2:25], Modes [6:32](as), Fair Weather [2:58](fl), Pottsville U.S.A. [5:38](as), Don's Delight [5:40](fl), Under Paris Skies [4:21](as)

These were released on Warner Brothers B(S)1245, except for the last tune. W(S)1328, WM4005/WS8005 include Pottsville USA. W(S)1281, "Jazz Festival in Hi- Fi/ Near In and Far Out", with a fuzzy tenor player on the cover, WM4015/WS8015, Valiant (E)VJ104, and Warner Bros (I)POP40 contain Under Paris Skies. Modes, Pottsville, Don's Delight are on WB (F)36010.

Chico Hamilton Quintet with Strings
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Los Angeles, CA, 27 October 1958

Eric Dolphy (as,fl,bcl); Nathan Gershman (cel); Wyatt Ruther (bass); Dennis Budimir (gtr); Chico Hamilton (dr); unidentified string section; Fred Katz (arr,cond).

Something to Live For [3:50](fl), Close Your Eyes [4:36](as), Strange [3:05](as), Ev'rything I've Got [2:00], Speak Low [2:30](bcl)

Released on Warner Brothers B(S)1245, "with Strings Attached". The cover shows Chico manipulating marionettes of the band members, a bit telling? Close Your Eyes, Strange, Ev'rything I've Got are on WB (F)36010.

Chico Hamilton Quintet
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American Hotel, Miami FL, 10 November 1958

Eric Dolphy (fl,cl); Nathan Gershman (cel); Dennis Budimir (gtr); Wyatt Ruther (bass); Chico Hamilton (dr); Jane Morgan (vocal).

Sleep [1:25], You Do Something To Me [2:08], The Morning After [1:45]

This is on video from NBC-TV, from the third Timex All-Star Jazz Show. There are introductions by Bob Crosby and Hoagy Carmichael. I now have this, it is low quality video and audio, but interesting to see and hear. You Do Something to Me has the Quintet accompanying Jane Morgan, a cocktail lounge singer. Eric is on flute for that tune, playing lines behind her. He also plays flute on Sleep, clarinet on The Morning After. Some details here are from the update to Reichardt's discography, where he reports this was released on Sounds Great SG-8011, a compilation from this show.

Chico Hamilton Quintet
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Los Angeles, CA, December 29 and 30 1958

Eric Dolphy (as,fl,cl,bcl); Nathan Gershman (cel); Wyatt Ruther (bass); Dennis Budimir (gtr); Chico Hamilton (dr).

Beyond the Blue Horizon [3:04](fl), Where I Live [3:59](fl), Gongs East [4:48](bcl), I Gave My Love a Cherry [4:40](cl,fl), Good Grief Dennis [3:08](cl), Long Ago (and Far Away) [2:58](cl), Tuesday at Two [2:57](as), Nature by Emerson [5:04](as), Far East [4:03](fl), Passion Flower [3:19](as)

This is probably available as "Gongs East!" on Discovery DS-831. The original release is Warner Brothers W(S)1271. Also WEP 6005 and WSEP 2005, WB (F)LPW-1517, WB (J)P-6093-W. Passion Flower is on FM-063. Beyond, Nature, Tuesday, Gongs East, Far East and Passion Flower are on WB (F)36010. A nice recording of this band, controlled music, a bit frustrating because of the lack of space Eric has, but he gets some beautiful moments. A lot of soprano clarinet work, all in ensemble context, but very revealing.

Chico Hamilton Quintet
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Los Angeles, CA, 4 February 1959

Eric Dolphy (as); Nathan Gershman (cel); Wyatt Ruther (bass); Dennis Budimir (gtr); Chico Hamilton (dr).

More Than You Know [5:43], Newport News [4:38], Miss Movement [2:15]

These are on WB (G)WB56239 and WB (I)POP37, and Atl WS4671. Miss Movement is a Dolphy composition.

Paul Horn (as); Eric Dolphy (as,fl,bcl); William "Buddy" Collette (ts); Bill Green (bars); unknown (pno); Nathan Gershman (cel); Wyatt Ruther (bass); Dennis Budimir (gtr); Chico Hamilton (dr,vcl).

She's Funny That Way, The Best Things in Life are Free, I Don't Know Why, Where or When

Warner Brothers W(S)1344, "The Three Faces of Chico". Also WEP 6014 and WSEP 2014, WB (F)LPW1512, WB E(S)D1344-1. Swing Journal also lists the tunes Happy Little Dance, Trinkets, No Speak No English Man, but these are without Eric, apparently drum solos.

Chico Hamilton Quintet
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Los Angeles, CA, 19 May 1959

Eric Dolphy (as,fl,bcl,cl); Nathan Gershman (cel); Wyatt Ruther (bass); Dennis Budimir (gtr); Chico Hamilton (dr).

Truth [3:08], Opening [1:39] (as), Fat Mouth [3:01] (as), Theme for a Starlet [2:46](fl), Little Lost Bear [1:48], Champs Elysees [2:32] (as), Lost in the Night [3:18] (as), Frou Frou [3:19] (as), Lullaby for Dreamers [2:59]

Released on Sesac Repertory N2901/2902 according to S&T and Swing Journal, Jazz Vault 111 according to Simosko, and Vogue JL-67, "That Hamilton Man" according to Hery. Swing listed a tune called Dreamy Little Theme, which is called Pretty Little Theme on FSCD-1004, with cello and guitar only. Now available as "Chico Hamilton Quintet featuring Eric Dolphy" on Fresh Sound Records FSCD-1004. Truth and Opening are on Sesac Repertory AD45. Frou Frou is on AD72 and JV116.

Chico Hamilton Quintet
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Los Angeles, CA, 20 May 1959

Eric Dolphy (fl,bcl); Nathan Gershman (cel); Ralph Pena (bass); Dennis Budimir (gtr); Chico Hamilton (dr).

Cawn Pawn [2:31], Lady E [2:40] (fl)

Released on Sesac Repertory N2901/2902 and Jazz Vault 111, AD45, and Vogue JL67. Now on Fresh Sound FSCD-1004 (see above). Lady E is attributed to Dolphy, and is an interesting composition, with some abrupt transitions between themes.

Chico Hamilton Quintet
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Los Angeles, CA, ca. late October 1959

Eric Dolphy (fl,bcl); Nathan Gershman (cel); Ron Carter (bass); Dennis Budimir (gtr); Chico Hamilton (dr).

Simosko reports that Carter told him that this band recorded for Warner Bros. but that it was "so far out they never issued it."

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Date created: 1995
Last modified: 11 May 2014
Copyright © 1996, Alan Saul
Maintained by: Alan Saul