Eric Dolphy

Original Jazz Classics Collection

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It's hard to fathom the reason that the Original Jazz Classics label is bothering with this series of compilations. While it's true that some artists issued a lot of material on Riverside, New Jazz, Prestige, Contemporary, et al. -- all labels that fall under the rubric of the OJC series -- jazz fans tend to be hardcore collectors when it comes to artists they appreciate. So whether it's John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Art Pepper, or Eric Dolphy, chances are better than average that they already have the individual albums. This set rather casually slaps five tracks together from four different Eric Dolphy recordings. There's one each from Outward Bound and Out There, two come from Far Cry, and the reading of "Oleo" comes from In Europe, Vol. 1. There isn't a thing wrong with the music. In fact, it's all stellar. However, a sampler like this is not the way to be introduced to an artist like Dolphy. His trajectory was so swift and so forward-looking that checking him out willy-nilly like this does the artist a disservice. The marks are for the music, not the compilation.

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