Eric Dolphy: Prestige Profiles, Vol. 5
Mike Johnston: A brief interlude—since Bob just mentioned Eric Dolphy when conjuring great baritone players, and since I've just recently come down off a serious bout of Dolphy mania (Dolphy morning, noon, and night), I thought I'd use the occasion to give a strong buy rating to a compilation I can be tiresomely evangelical about, the Prestige Profiles Volume 5. Dolphy did a lot of great work for Prestige, and the main CD is a fine sampler—it includes "Far Cry" and the daffy but touching 15-minute "Booker's Waltz," with Dolphy's lightning, Coltrane-like "sheets of sound" in his marvelous solo. But the real astonishment is a "collector's CD" you get as an extra, in a separate little sleeve, bringing together a bunch of things Dolphy recorded with other people—you hear great cuts of him playing with Booker Ervin, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, Steve Lacy and Don Cherry, Don Ellis, and Ron Carter and Mal Waldron. This second disc alone is more than worth the price of admission.
It's seldom wise to buy music by the pound, but this is an exception. Both CDs run to well over a hour, for the price of one. It would still be a great bargain if it were priced as a bargain double CD. (Yes, this tickles my cheapskate gene in a big way.) And it's an easier and more pleasurable introduction to Dolphy for people who don't know him than his frequently cited but more difficult Out to Lunch.
Just plain pure pleasure. I listened to this a hundred times. Well, not really, but I want to, and there's still time.
Posted by Mike Johnston at 10:41 PM