Saturday, June 20, 2009

O saxofonista de jazz Eric Dolphy nasceu no 20 de junho de 1928 em Los Angeles. Aos sete anos iniciou seus estudos na clarineta e no oboé. Depois de se graduar em sax-alto, seu amigo Hampton Hawes o colocou na rota de Charlie Parker.

Quando fez seu disco de estréia "Outward Bound" como líder, para o selo Prestige, em 1960, o crítico da Downbeat, Don McMichael deu cinco estrelas e em tom profético, escreveu: "Este homem será o jazzman mais premiado da próxima década".

Enquanto Dolphy caminhava para ser uma figura decisiva nesse começo dos anos 60, o bebop passava por inovações e se desenvolvia para formas mais livres.

Inspirado por músicos como Gerald Wilson, em 1948 Dolphy deu seu primeiro grande passo tocando na banda de Roy Porter e durante os anos 50 tocou com Buddy Collette e Harold Land.

Em 1958 ele participou do Chico Hamilton Quintet e se mudou para New York em 1960 onde trabalhou com Charles Mingus.

Enquanto desenvolvia seu principal trabalho como sideman de Mingus, Dolphy também gravou com dois titãs do jazz, Ornette Coleman e John Coltrane. Mas foi através de seus álbuns, incluindo os gravados na Prestige entre 1960 e 1961 e principalmente sua obra-prima, “Out To Lunch”, gravado em 1964 para a Blue Note, que o estabeleceram como um grande e controverso talento.

Ele não era só um virtuoso na flauta, sax-alto e baixo-clarineta, mas também improvisador com alto espírito de inovação.Hoje Dolphy é altamente considerado pelo conhecedores de jazz em relação às suas distintas vozes instrumentais: as vibrações líricas da flauta, os vôos do sax-alto e os rompantes do clarinete-baixo.

A propensão dele por buscar adiante novas idéias harmônicas o colocaram dançando numa linha virtuosa entre consonância e dissonância.

Eric faleceu prematura e tragicamente, aos 36 anos, depois de desmaiar nas ruas de Berlim, ser levado para o hospital e os medicos terem confundido o coma diabético com uma overdose, causada pelo excesso de drogas, ocorrencia comum, entre os jazzistas da época.

Eric Allan Dolphy was a jazz musician who played alto saxophone, flute and bass clarinet.
Dolphy was one of several groundbreaking jazz alto players to rise to prominence in the 1960s. He was also the first important bass clarinet soloist in jazz, and among the earliest significant flute soloists; he is arguably the greatest jazz improviser on either instrument. On early recordings, he occasionally played traditional B-flat soprano clarinet.

His improvisational style was characterized by a near volcanic flow of ideas, utilizing wide intervals based largely on the 12-tone scale, in addition to using an array of animal-like effects which almost made his instruments speak. Although Dolphy's work is sometimes classified as free jazz, his compositions and solos had a logic uncharacteristic of many other free jazz musicians of the day; even as such, he was definitively avant-garde. In the years after his death his music was more aptly described as being “too out to be in and too in to be out.”

Dolphy was born in Los Angeles June 20,1928 and was educated at Los Angeles City College.

Coltrane had gained an audience and critical notice with Miles Davis's quintet. Although Coltrane's quintets with Dolphy (including the Village Vanguard and Africa/Brass sessions) are now legendary, they provoked Down Beat magazine to brand Coltrane and Dolphy's music as 'anti-jazz.' Coltrane later said of this criticism “they made it appear that we didn't even know the first thing about music (...) it hurt me to see (Dolphy) get hurt in this thing.”
During this period, Dolphy also played in a number of challenging settings, notably in key recordings by Ornette Coleman (Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation), Oliver Nelson (The Blues and the Abstract Truth) and George Russell (Ezz-thetic), but also with Gunther Schuller and Max Roach among others.

Dolphy's first two albums as leader were Outward Bound and Out There. The first is more accessible and rooted in the style of bop than some later releases, but it still offered up challenging performances, which at least partly accounts for the record label's choice to include “out” in the title. Out There is closer to the third stream music which would also form part of Dolphy's legacy, and reminiscent also of the instrumentation of the Hamilton group with Ron Carter on cello.

Dolphy would record several unaccompanied cuts on saxophone, which at the time had been done only by Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins before him. The album "Far Cry" contains one of his more memorable performances on the Gross-Lawrence standard tune "Tenderly" on alto saxophone, but it was his subsequent tour of Europe that quickly set high standards for solo performance with his exhilarating bass clarinet renditions of Billie Holiday's "God Bless The Child".

In 1964, Dolphy signed with the legendary Blue Note label and recorded "Out to Lunch" (once again, the label insisted on using “out” in the title). This album was deeply rooted in the avant garde, and Dolphy's solos are as dissonant and unpredictable as anything he ever recorded. Out to Lunch is often regarded not only as Dolphy's finest album, but also as one of the greatest jazz recordings ever made.

On the evening of June 28, 1964, Dolphy collapsed on the streets of Berlin and was brought to a hospital. The attending hospital physicians, who had no idea that Dolphy was a diabetic, thought that he (like so many other jazz musicians) had overdosed on drugs, so they left him to lie in a hospital bed until the “drugs” had run their course.

Dolphy would die the next day in a diabetic coma, leaving a short but tremendous legacy in the jazz world, which was immediately honored with his induction into the Down Beat magazine Hall of Fame that same year.

Coltrane paid tribute to Dolphy in an interview: “Whatever I'd say would be an understatement. I can only say my life was made much better by knowing him. He was one of the greatest people I've ever known, as a man, a friend, and a musician.”

Clique para vê-lo em ação. Click to watch Eric doing "Blues Improvisation"
Reference - ATJJ

Tradução - Humberto Amorim

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