Recorded Live at Vastmanland Dala Nation, Sweden, Sept. 4, 1961.
This two-CD set features the remarkable Eric Dolphy (tripling on alto, bass clarinet, and flute) during a concert in Sweden. Accompanied by an obscure but talented rhythm section (pianist Rony Johansson, bassist Kurt Lindgren, and drummer Rune Carlsson), Dolphy really stretches out on five of the seven numbers, particularly during a 2O and-a-half minute version of his blues "245." Other highlights include "Laura" (featuring Dolphy unaccompanied on alto), "Bag's Groove" (his only recording of that piece), and "I'll Remember April." With the exception of "245," all of the songs are bop standards, but Eric Dolphy's improvisations are typically unpredictable and adventurous. The recording quality is decent, making this a good set to get after acquiring Dolphy's better-known sessions.
All Music Guide
========= from the cover ==========
The Uppsala concert which took place the 4th of September, was one of a series of concerts given by Dolphy in Sweden, in 1961. It was organized by the local Jazz Club in one of the halls belonging to the university and which generally featured dance-bands. Some 400 or 500 people, standing, attended this concert.
The rhythm section was composed, besides Kurt Lindgren on bass, of pianist Ronny Johansson and drummer Rune Carlsson. The musicians met for the first time an hour before the concert and had a little rehearsal: a few standards, 245, a Dolphy original... later the same evening, it was on this blues theme that Dolphy would play his longest solo on record (13 min.). Note also that he performs "Laura" on unaccompanied alto sax. "Bag's Groove", the Milt Jackson composition, which Dolphy plays on the flute, is quite a surprising choice.
So, thanks to this unexpected recording, we discover new facets of the music of Eric Dolphy, who was particularly inspired that evening of September '61, it seems to me.
This album is dedicated to Kurt Lindgren, who was to disappear tragically in an automobile accident, just a week after our meeting in Haninge.
One of the rare interviews of Eric Dolphy was done by Swedish journalist Claes Dahlgren. He was able to meet Dolphy in New York some time before Eric's death. We include here the essence of this interview.
DAHLGREN: How long have you been playing in basically the same advanced style as you are doing now, Eric ?
DOLPHY: Well, I don't know. People say I have been playing the same all the time, but I think, I hope I have improved and I hope to continue to improve... So, I don't really know. I only know that I am trying to progress as time goes on and not stay still.
DAHLGREN: Eric, you strive for freedom, but still a freedom within certain limits. Eor instance, your improvisations always have some relations to the chords of the number you play, don't they ?
DOLPHY: Well, it depends on what type of composition you're playing...
More or less, some of the numbers that I play on, - especially my music, things I have written - have chords, and then, here lately, I have been working with things that have what you might call a sound ; more or less, just a basic sound which has more freedom that you can work primarily on line... But more or less all the things I have done before is chords... I don't know how to say this, but, chords is intervalls and always will be here but, as we work what we 're trying to do, I guess, more or less, it's to work on a musical line which is based on chords, if the musical number is based on chords and we work from that.
DAHLGREN: You know, of course, Eric, that your music, in some quarters is considered too far out, not swinging, and I think one critic even labelled it "anti-jazz ". What you answer such a reaction ?
DOLPHY: Well I don't know. I can't speak for anybody. So that's what they say what it is. May be it's "anti-jazz", I don't know... I don't know what he has on his mind. That's all I can say.
DAHLGREN: Is there any way at all that you can try to explain your words, what you are trying for in your music ? I know it's a tough question, but will you try for us ?
DOLPHY: Well... music is... I read this a long time ago in school. Music is people and people is music... and music is an expression of time, places and things, and I feel that the music that has been played today by myself and other musicians are an expression of the people, of the time and places we live in and also of personal backgrounds and experiences of persons. That's why I feel the difference between individuality in certain music from different people; you can tell the different personal sounds, because of personal reactions to different things.
DAHLGREN: Eric, how important to you is the audience's reaction when you play in public ? Does the mood of the listeners one particular night influence you when you are playing ?
DOLPHY: Oh yes, if you have an audience that's "with" you, you definitely can have a stronger mood in what you hear, definitely of course..., but if you have audiences that aren't with you, it makes it a little harder to get your message across... If you' re playing and the musicians become in groove, sometimes it doesn't make any difference. But it does help to have an appreciative audience.
DAHLGREN: Eric, tell us something about your collaboration with John Coltrane.
DOLPHY: Oh, that was beautiful. That was really a marvelous experience... musically and spiritually... Everything I can think about was just beautifd, because... It was this. Playing - not that it ever happened before - but that was so consistant, playing with somebody who just love music all the time and all the musicians in the band love music and... it was just beautiful... It's pretty hard for me to express it in words, I'm tellin' you.
DAHLGREN: That was evidently a big thing to you ?
DOLPHY: John was very much of an inspiration to play with... I still miss playing with him in fact...
DAHLGREN: Eric, what are you hopes and plans for the future, for yourself and for jazz in general ?
DOLPHY: Well, the main thing -1 think that any musician... I feel, would want... and myself- is that we can continue to work in what we are doing. That would be the strongest outcome to me and to what I'll do, because if I can continue working, that means I can be getting better because every time I play... I hope to play better the next time, I hope..