Eric Dolphy: Body & Soul


Body and Soul


Eric Dolphy (alto sax)


Candid Dolphy (CCD 79033)

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Eric Dolphy (alto sax), Roy Eldridge (trumpet), Jimmy Knepper (trombone), Tommy Flanagan (piano), Charles Mingus (bass),

Jo Jones (drums)


Composed by Edward Heyman, Frank Eyton, Robert Sour, and John Green


Recorded: NYC, November 11, 1960


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

A recording that features Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus in the company of Roy Eldridge and Jo Jones is worth any amount of time it might take to track it down (of course, these days, access to such rare musical encounters are seldom more than a few mouse clicks away, but you get my point). Eldridge was an elder statesman in 1960, yet he still had lots of great playing ahead of him. He opens here with a gritty, emotive improvised chorus on the ballad's meandering chord changes—his style the characteristic bridge between Armstrong and Gillespie, but timeless for all that. Eldridge ends with a double-time break (shared with Mingus), which leads to Dolphy, who doubles the double-time, staying well within the changes for the most part while parsing the beat in ingenious, unpredictable ways. Even at its most outré, Dolphy's style came out of bebop, a fact made most apparent here as he reins in his more extreme impulses. A young Tommy Flanagan plays well if without particular distinction, and Papa Jo Jones swings like only he can. The track's highlight is arguably Eldridge's return chorus at performance's end; he plays as if trying to make the point that fire and inspiration know no stylistic limits. Certainly, they're qualities both he and Dolphy shared in abundance.

Reviewer: Chris Kelsey

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