The discography is provided in several parts:
- 19 January 1949 - 20 May 1959
- 1960 up to 11 November
- November 1960 - 9 August 1961
- 30 August 1961 - 16 February 1962
- 16 February 1962 - 2 May 1963
- May 1963 - June 1964
- Postscript and Filmography
Peter Roberts' version of the discography is
available on his own site now. This version is relatively plain but is in the standard form, useful for research.
Here's a nice shot of Dolphy drawn by Peter's
The following attempt at a complete discography is for the purpose of keeping
track of what I have and do not have as far as Eric's recordings. I think
it is appropriate for other people who feel similarly to use it, and am
glad to distribute it. Everybody should note that this listing is based
almost entirely on Eric Dolphy: a musical biography and discography,
Vladimir Simosko and Barry Tepperman, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington,
1974. I refer to this work below as "S&T" for short, or simply
say Simosko to indicate his more recent remarks. Anybody who would read
this listing should certainly have this book. The most recent edition, from 1992, is available (for $5) by writing to me. I also refer below to Swing Journal, by which I mean the June
1974 issue, Swing Journal Vol. 7:250-255. This is a great magazine/book
published monthly in Tokyo. This issue has a discography with pictures of
album covers, plus a Dolphymobile on page
109. Bill Hery also provided notes based on "Jazz Heros Data Book"
published by Swing Journal. Wolfram Knauer has put a bibliography up on his web pages for the Jazz-Institut Darmstadt.
Paul Karting, who arranged Dolphy's tour of Holland in 1964, has sent a number of photos and documentation, organized on a central page. Paul also sent the text of the interview Michiel de Ruyter did with Dolphy on April 11 1964, an excerpt from which is well-known thanks to its inclusion on the Last Date record.
Albrecht Heeffer has contributed pictures of the covers
of all the CDs he has, plus pages describing the
contents of each CD. Albrecht was maintaining a partial mirror of this at his site, http://www.netpoint.be/abc/jazz/index.htm, but this is not up any more.
He also has some digitized video on his pages. Somebody had made some lovely web pages about Dolphy, including a lot of photos, which was at http://members.home.net/apachematrix/ but is no longer there. Esa Ontonnen
has a nice Mingus discography at http://www.siba.fi/~eonttone/mingus/. There is also now an "official" Mingus site. Kenzo Nagai has put together a great resource describing Dolphy-related recordings by other musicians.
I have also placed a Booker Little discography
right next door. There are lots of other discographies on line. See the WNUR Jazz Home Page, the Jazz Discography project or the other Jazz Discography project, my jazz page, or any of the other specifically jazz pages or general search engines.
As of June 20, 2001, other sources I have used for the information below are Ed Beuker, David Wild, Bill Hery, Vladimir Simosko, John Bell, Makoto Yoshioka, Stan Jones, Jacques Brierre, Arjan Koning, Ed Rhodes, Peter Roberts, Thierry Bruneau, Erik Raben, Piotr Michalowski, Ralf Dietrich, Stefano Zenni, Chuck Nessa, Paul Karting, Claudio Sessa, and Joe O'Con. Their input is very much appreciated. They are much better sources than me for all sorts of information about music. The Uwe Reichardt discography "Like a human voice: the Eric Dolphy discography" published in 1986 by Norbert Ruecker should also be consulted for good data and further references. Peter Roberts sent me Reichardt's update from 1987. I also would recommend to Dolphy fanatics the book by Raymond Horricks from 1989, "The Importance of Being Eric Dolphy", published by DJ Costello, Tunbridge Wells, Great Britain. This is a loving tribute with some touching moments, especially from the correspondence of Richard Davis, though I found it to have numerous errors and little problems. It features some transcriptions by Ken Rattenbury (Stolen Moments, Tenderly, and God Bless the Child) that I would love to add here. I would also like to add Roger Jannotta's transcription of the 8 September 1961 (Copenhagen) God Bless the Child with a wonderful analysis of what Dolphy did. Jannotta published this in Jazzforschung in 1977. Thanks to Richard Faria for this! The Fujioka Coltrane discography (John Coltrane: A Discography and Musical Biography, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen NJ, 1995) was enormously helpful to me in updating this Dolphy discography with some of its amazing entries. Erik Raben provided his Dolphy entries for the Jepsen discography he now maintains. My sincere thanks to Hale Smith, Eric's aunt Luzmilda Thomas, and many others for sharing their thoughts about Eric Dolphy.
I look forward to continuing to modify this list if other people will let me know where it is wrong and what additions should be made. In particular, let me note that my collection is fairly out of date. I have few CDs, so if other people want to list what's available on this ripoff medium that would be valuable. I imagine that there are also some recent LP releases of which I am unaware. This brings me to a special plea, being the main motivation for doing this exercise. If anybody can provide me with recordings I don't have, I would consider the hours I've spent on this somewhat enjoyable task to have been extremely fruitful. Please let me know where things are available, or if they are unavailable I would love to get copies on cassette.
My address is
2638 Raymond Ave.
Augusta GA 30904
Dept. of Ophthalmology
Medical College of Georgia
Augusta GA 30912
email@example.com (electronic mail).
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I have set up an email discussion list for people to pass along information
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From: email@example.com (Alan Saul)
Alternatively, you can send a message to Dolphyfirstname.lastname@example.org with a
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Here is the blurb that describes our intentions for this list:
Welcome to Dolphy-L, a discussion list concerning the musician Eric
Dolphy and related topics.
Eric Dolphy lived from 1928 to 1964, and recorded primarily after 1959.
An excellent biography/discography of Dolphy, by Vladimir Simosko and Barry
Tepperman, is available through Da Capo Press, and versions of that discography,
along with various other information, can be found at http://adale.org/Discographies/EDIntro.html
on the web. These sources can be consulted for answers to Frequently Asked
We expect this list to be low-volume, limited to informative posts.
Although not moderated, the list-owner may impose restrictions, and may
change the list to a moderated form if necessary. For broader discussion,
the Usenet newsgroup rec.music.bluenote
is recommended. Because for now (as of 1996) most people spend time
reading all email they receive, we will strive to spare subscribers from
receiving things they might not want. It is important to understand, however,
that you will get email that you might not like, and rather than take offense
it is almost always preferable to delete it and forget it. In particular,
please do not reply to the list unless you have something to say to everybody
- otherwise, reply ONLY to the individual to whom your comments are specifically
directed. We would ask for a high degree of sensitivity to diverse cultural
norms, as well as tolerance.
To subscribe, unsubscribe, obtain help or get info about the list, send
messages to Dolphyemail@example.com
or to Dolphy-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org or to Dolphy-Lemail@example.com
rather than to the list (Dolphy-L@adale.org) itself.
Please SAVE this message somewhere convenient for the day when
you will want to unsubscribe!
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.
Interview with the Dolphys
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.
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:
Full discography in 1 file
- 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
Vladimir Simosko has supplied me with his indices from the latest, 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
Simosko's list of tunes with solo notation
Simosko's list of Eric's recordings of his own compositions.
contributed by Albrecht Heeffer
by Kenzo Nagai
- 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
Some of these require the free RealPlayer.
- Roy Porter: Moods at Dusk
- Chico Hamilton: Pottsville U.S.A.
- Serene Solo Far Cry
- Miss Ann Solo Far Cry
- Stormy Weather Mingus
- Densities Schuller
- A Personal Statement (aka Jim Crow) Other Aspects
- Moods in Free Time Booker Little
- Gazzeloni Out to Lunch
- Straight Up and Down Out to Lunch
- God Bless the Child 5 Spot
- Fire Waltz 5 Spot
- Something Sweet Something Tender Out to Lunch
- Half Note Triplets Carnegie Hall
- Burning Spear (same tune as Half Note Triplets) Carnegie
Hall (RealAudio) / Carnegie Hall (8kHz)
- Iron Man Carnegie Hall
- Night Music Syracuse
- Abstraction Carnegie Hall / sample
- Reincarnations of a Love Bird 20 Oct 1960
/ Another sample
- TAin't Nobody's Business If I Do Abbey Lincoln
- Body and Soul Mingus
- African Lady Abbey Lincoln
- Quiet Please Booker Little
- Hazy Hues Booker Little
- Chrissie Chico at Newport
- Nice Day Chico at Newport
- On Green Dolphin Street Munich
- Softly as in a Morning Sunrise Munich
- The Way You Look Tonight Munich
- Oleo Munich
- The Stolen Moment Lockjaw Davis
- Fat Mouth Chico Hamilton
- Champs Elysee Chico Hamilton
- Little Lost Bear Chico Hamilton
- Frou Frou Chico Hamilton
- Opening Chico Hamilton
- Lady E Chico Hamilton
- Truth Chico Hamilton
- Delilah Coltrane in Copenhagen
- Impressions Coltrane in Copenhagen
- Naima Coltrane in Copenhagen
- My Favorite Things Coltrane in Copenhagen
- Impressions Coltrane in Stockholm (AIFF, 39 seconds, 864K)
- Impressions Coltrane in Stockholm (WAV, 39 seconds, 864K)
- Impressions Coltrane in Stockholm (RA, 39 seconds, 80K)
- Impressions Coltrane in Stockholm (RA, 33 seconds, 64K) RECOMMENDED
- Impressions Coltrane in Frankfurt (RA, 17+ minutes, 2.5M)
- Impressions Coltrane in Stuttgart (RA, 9 minutes, 1.2M)
- Impressions Coltrane in Berlin (RA, 13 minutes, 1.4M)
- India Village Vanguard
- Spiritual Village Vanguard
- Inchworm The Inchworm at Birdland 2/16/62
- Mr. P.C. Mr. P.C. at Birdland 2/16/62
- My Favorite Things MFT at Birdland 2/16/62
- Epitaph Conversation with Mingus / Solo
- Peggy's Blue Skylight April 13 / April 17 / April
- Orange was the color of her dress April 17
- When Irish Eyes are Smiling in Mississippi USA April 13
- Meditations April 17 / April
4 / April 28 / from
Albrecht (check this)
- Fables of Faubus April 17
- So Long Eric April 4 / End
of solo on April 4
Variants on a Theme of Thelonius Monk
Theme / Variant 1 / Variant
2 / Variant 3 / Variant
From Illinois March 10, 1963
Something Sweet Something Tender (the whole thing) / God Bless the Child
early and later parts, note cool effects in later part / Iron Man
Opening theme Long stretch from solo Close / Red Planet
Opening theme Very long portion of solo note the space sounds
Impressions Part 1 (288K) Part 2 (608K) / My Favorite Things Part 1 (416K) Part 2 (512K) Part 3 (832K)
In a Mellow Tone
In a Sentimental Mood
I'm a Lucky So-&-So
Just Sittin' & Rockin'
This has a very characteristic solo by Dolphy. Note the intro, the bent
notes, the repeated bends at about 30:00, etc. A great example.
Everything But You
What is the quote here (11-15 seconds in)?
I'm Beginning to See the Light
Edited version is about 3 minutes long and omits the guitar solo. This alto solo is pretty high speed. But pretty well articulated. Sorry about including the beginning of Azure at the end of this sample.
It Don't Mean a Thing
Interview with the Dolphys
Money / Discouraged
/ Music Only / Avant Garde
/ Bump on his forehead / If
he was living... / Birds / Do-Good
/ One Note / Practice
/ Bitter? / Helping others
- Red Planet
- the subject you're improvising on (122K)
- You CAN play any note you like (59K)
- freedom of sound (119K)
- the thing only happens at the moment when you do it (76K)
- Eureka Jazz Band (144K)
- a little more technique (110K)
- it opens up a whole different kind of hearing (81K)
- running notes (89K)
- he [Coltrane] plays SO much (108K)
- he creates out of that amount (119K)
- a connection there of people expressing themselves in the same way (147K)
- other folk forms (109K)
These are by Michael McLaughlin.
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
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Date created: 1995
Last modified: 3 July 2005
Maintained by: Alan Saul