On this Richard Rodgers song, Eric Dolphy's fiery brand of alto sax is replaced by his equally wistful virtuosity on flute. Accompanied by the delicate comping of the unheralded Jaki Byard, the suspended basslines of George Tucker, and the barely perceptible accents of the tasteful Roy Haynes, Dolphy starts his melodic intro with dreamily languishing gentleness. After lulling us into a cocoon of warmth and calm, he lets loose a crescendo of fluttering notes that could easily be part of a classical piece. He then leads into his rapidly developing and extremely creative solo where he demonstrates unquestioned instrumental mastery. His unerring ability to create harmonic interest on an instrument of limited possibilities is remarkable, as is his pure and uncompromised tonal quality. Here he is neither atonal nor free of melodic restraints, which would later become his mantle. Yet within the confines of this pretty, melancholic tune, Dolphy conveys the true pathos of its composer's intention. In my opinion, this is one of the finest representations of what can be achieved on jazz flute when played by a creative master.
Tags: glad to be unhappy
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