365 Days of Album Recommendations – April 1

Eric Dolphy – Outward Bound


It was April 1st, 1960, and Eric Dolphy had a studio date—it was to be his first as a leader. He had some amazing musicians lined up. The incredible Jaki Byard on piano. The young-but-eventually-legendary Freddie Hubbard on trumpet. Bassist George Tucker. Drummer Roy Haynes.

The song list was a mix of originals and standards: Dolphy’s “G.W.” “On Green Dolphin Street.”

Dolphy himself was armed with his flute, his bass clarinet, his saxophone.

This marks the beginning of what should have been a long and magical career. Sadly, that’s not what happened. Dolphy left us when he was only 36 years old. It didn’t have to happen, but it did.

We must be all the more grateful he left us with the music he did. This is the first of those gifts. Revere it. He was so good. No junkie. No star trip. No shocking to shock. Just a deep, genuine, authentic, thoughtful, brave, complicated, brilliant artist.

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