Eric Dolphy In Europe Vol.2 (1961)

Track Selection: Laura ( caution – vinyl has a few marks which sound on occasions, and recorded in Denmark  Wonderful, Wonderful, Copenhagen. What’s to like? The music, of course.)

Artists

Eric Dolphy (as,fl) Erik Moseholm (b) Jorn Elniff (d) Bent Axen (p) Recorded live at  “Berlingske Has”, September 6, 1961(tk1) and “Studenterföreningen”, Copenhagen, Denmark on September 8th, 1961 (including “Laura”)

Music

Dolphy’s advanced vocabulary for alto saxophone is brilliantly on display here, teamed with Danish jazz musicians whose names required great care to type correctly. Dolphy  trod an unmade path between traditional bop and free jazz that was without equal. You are in the presence of genius here, at a front table seat in Copenhagen, 1961.

Vinyl: Eric Dolphy In Europe, Vol. 2  Prestige PR 7350

Issued in three volumes – original Prestige release covers I believe, all of them in Stereo, two indicating remastered for stereo and of similar design. Possibly there are others around, and I did find a Danish Debut label release which looks completely different again. The cover of Volume 3 works hardest at capturing the excitement of free jazz, but critics say it is musically the weakest of the sets.

Sometimes vinyl really tests you. This record wasn’t very well cared for by a previous owner, it is remastered for stereo, and only blue/trident prestige labels. But it still sounds phenomenal on my Avid turntable, which does a good job of separating out the music from the vinyl defects (better than the rather flimsy USB TT that does my rips, which has difficulty telling the two apart). You still follow the music, and most of the defects are brief.

Considering many of us moved from vinyl to CD in the Eighties to enjoy “pristine sound”, it is something of a challenge to go back to those defects. However after listening to the fresh lively vinyl source, even with the defects, I would rather that than the soulless presentation of “pristine” CD. This recording really has captured the experience of 1961 live performance. Perhaps I will pick up a better copy at some point.

Back to only Excellent vinyl grading in future posts.

Collectors Corner

Marked down for its only VG condition, the cover is nevertheless a beauty, with classic laminate and a superb picture of Dolphy smoking a pipe. How very bohemian and utterly against today’s Health and Safety culture. But since Dolphy was dead by the age of only 36, that hardly seems to matter. Guess the pension plan turned out a poor investment.

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10 thoughts on “Eric Dolphy In Europe Vol.2 (1961)

    • Helpful to see some photos if you can manage it sometime. No hurry, no problem. Fred Cohen has “done” Blue Note. It is Prestige where I sense we don’t have all the knowledge we want. Because, at the time, we had Esquire releases here in UK, I hardly ever see early Prestige originals around.

  1. checked my Vol.1, Prestige 7304.
    as Jan’s, orange letters on black and orange photo on black.
    yellow Bergenfield label and address on back cover.
    no trident but a sort of swirl on front and back cover.
    no deep groove.
    NJLP-8300 A PRLP 7304 A etched on side one
    NJLP-8300 (scratched) A PRLP 7304 B on side two.

  2. Rediscovered a mono copy on my shelf. Volume one, same front cover design but orange letters on black background. Blue trident label. Sounds great.

    • Where it boasts it is “remastered for Stereo” – “remastered” (=good) is not the same as “reprocessed” (=bad) right? I generally prefer mono, but it certainly doesn’t sound bad – it sounds good. Does that mean it was originally recorded in stereo but previously released in folded-down mono edition, and now someones dug out the original tapes and mastered it again, this time for stereo?

      • Yes, that could be the case because it is undoubtedly real stereo. It is very evident through earphones. New Jazz releases were also often first released in mono but recorded in stereo and later reissued in stereo.

        Was there an older release of this title?

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