Eric Dolphy Berlin Concerts (1964)

Sample: “The Meeting”


Benny Bailey (tp) Eric Dolphy (as, bcl) Pepsi Auer (p) Jamil Nasser (b) Buster Smith (d) “Funkturm Exhibition Hall”, Berlin, West Germany, August 30, 1961 and “Club Jazz Salon”, Berlin, West Germany, August 30, 1961


Eric Dolphy Berlin Concerts issued on the German Enja label, probably around the very early Eighties. Dolphy died young of complications of diabetes, aged only 36 (a fact well-known to followers of my “Jazz Trivia” chart. )  His trademark goatee however will remain with us as a  signature of true jazz Bohemians.

It’s a raucous Mingus-like session without the dominant presence of Mingus, allowing Dolphy to show what he can do. Lots of squeaking and wailing, and impossibly fast run on the alto, in a bopi-sh big band setting. The players were mostly unknown to me, a mixture of American and European, and it moves briskly along.

Its a bit of a walk on the wild side, but needed to keep all that foot-tapping Bop in perspective.

10 thoughts on “Eric Dolphy Berlin Concerts (1964)

  1. I unfortunately just found out that my copy of a Eric Dolphy and Ron Carter’s session called, “Magic,” sounds terrible. I purchased the 2 record set years ago before I knew anything about labels. An examination revealed a fake lime-green Prestige label that was pressed by “Fantasy Records” in Berkeley California. The high end is practically missing. Well, I have another one for the junk pile. It’s a bit ironic that the jacket is a nice fold-out with stories and photos. At first glance, It actually looks like a vintage collectible. It may have been a boot leg picked up by “Fantasy.”

    • 6 1/2 years later….not a fake label, a reissue. Fantasy bought the rights to Prestige in 1971, which was then absorbed by Concord.

  2. Over in the U.S., this album was released on the “Inner City Label.” I can obtain one of the German “Enja” pressings, but it has to be shipped from Europe, which will add $20 to the price. Does anybody have both pressings to compare the sound quality? I know the European labels are better, in general, for classical music but this is not the case for jazz. Thanks in advance for any help.

    • I have an Enja pressing for Eric Dolphy’s Stockholm Session. The very annoying thing about the pressing is that the Volume level differs from track to track, having constantly to change the volume level. I also tend to avoid inner City and would pay max $15 for an LP.

  3. Can you shed any light on editions of these on Inner City Records? They may be sourced from Enja?

    All the best,


      • I my be in error but “Inner City” was the only label I could find for some of my favorite sessions. They were mostly recorded in the 70s by musicians like Charles Tolliver. I agree that “Inner City” records are pressed on very thin vinyl with inconsistent sound quality. I some cases, I had the choice of “Inner City” or the evil silver disk. As much as I detest the movement to digital media, it seems unavoidable if one wants to own certain sessions. The surprising thing is that some out of print jazz CDs are are still going up in price and selling for many times their original cost. Will they one day become as collectible as records? I have my doubts. But who knows what will be considered collectible in the future? As we have already seen, the best sound quality does not always make something valuable to the collector, especially those who collect and rarely play. After watching some rare 45s that were severely damaged, get bid up over $5,000 on eBay, this obvious saying comes to mind: “A collectible is worth only what someone is willing to pay for it.”

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