Personnel: Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, bass clarinet); Booker Little (trumpet); Mal Waldron (piano); Richard Davis (bass); Eddie Blackwell (drums).
Recorded live at the Five Spot, New York, New York on July 16, 1961. Originally released on Prestige (7334) in 1964. Includes original liner notes by Robert Levin.
Personnel: Eric Dolphy (flute, bass clarinet, alto saxophone); Booker Little (trumpet); Mal Waldron (piano); Ed Blackwell (drums).
Liner Note Author: Robert Levin.
Recording information: Five Spot, New York, NY (07/16/1961); The Five Spot, New York, NY (07/16/1961).
The late Eric Dolphy is one of the most pivotal figures in jazz, a fiercely lyrical player and imaginative composer at the forefront of the changes the music underwent in the 1960s. Dolphy, unlike some of his contemporaries, didn't totally abandon the bebop approach--though his solos could be wild (Dolphy played alto sax and bass clarinet with an extremely energetic and vocal presence), his rhythm section kept things grounded.
In the early '60s, he had a quintet with Booker Little, one of the greatest trumpet voices of that time, and a flexible, forward-looking rhythm team (especially the fine drummer Ed Blackwell, who had played with Ornette Coleman). This disc captures that group live in New York City in 1961, stretching out at length on two originals: the bittersweet, slightly melancholy "Number Eight," and the jaunty, fluid "Booker's Waltz." Both pieces are filled with nimble, thoughtful, and heartfelt playing--Dolphy is exploratory yet joyful, Little brash and lyrical, Blackwell lithe and crisp. MEMORIAL ALBUM is recommended for Dolphy and Little connoisseurs, and is a first-rate introduction to their artistry, too.