Personnel: Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, flute); Bent Axen (piano); Erik Moseholm (bass); Jorn Elnif (drums).
Recorded live in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 6, 1961. Originally released on Prestige (7350). Includes liner notes by Chris Albertson.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1989, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Like many American jazz musicians then and now, multi-instrumentalist and composer Eric Dolphy found European audiences more receptive than those at home. This was especially true in Dolphy's case, as, with Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, he was among the more revolutionary players of the late 1950s and early '60s.
IN EUROPE finds Dolphy in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1961 with a Danish trio, concentrating on alto sax and flute in a program of (mostly) standards. Though the trio isn't exactly cutting edge, it provides a solid, mellow backing throughout--sounding especially fine on "Don't Blame Me." For the most part, Dolphy, too, is in an easygoing mood on this session. His flute playing is brilliant: lyrical, sparkling, and gentle without being bland. Everyone cuts loose, though, on the frenetic, yet focused "The Way You Look Tonight," where Dolphy's vocalized alto, wailing and darting, is hard bop drenched in 1960s blues.