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 Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Out to Lunch in Northfield, the Music of Eric Dolphy revisited PDF Print
Written by Don Berryman   
Monday, 13 February 2006
On Feb 17th, the TCJS will present: Dave Hagedorn, Phil Hey, Tom Lewis, Dave Milne and Kelly Rossum in a performance of the music from Eric Dolphy's seminal album: "Out To Lunch" at Saint Olaf College.

Eric Dolphy
Eric Dolphy
About a year ago I descended into the Artists' Quarter in Saint Paul to listen to Eric Kamau Gravatt's band Source Code knowing that the music would be interesting and expertly performed. That night vibraphonist David Hagedorn brought in a chart he had transcribed for Eric Dolphy's "Hat and Beard" from "Out to Lunch". The charts were new to the band, and the material challenging, but the sound knocked me out. It recalled my pleasure from listening to that record for the first time, when the haunting sound of Bobby Hutcherson's vibes, left to hang naked, along with the jagged and jarring lines from Dolphy's bass clarinet, opened a new door to music for me. It also made me realize what a shame it was that these interesting and unusual tunes were rarely covered.

Eric Dolphy (born June 20, 1928 in Los Angeles, CA) was a influential jazz bass clarinet soloist. His unique style used wide intervals and speech-like effects. Charles Mingus considered Dolphy his most talented interpreter and Coltrane described Dolphy as the only horn player he could conceivably play with as an equal. Dolphy recorded as a leader on several outings, he appeared on several Mingus albums and on many significant recordings - including Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation", Oliver Nelson's "The Blues and the Abstract Truth", and John Coltrane's "Live at the Village Vanguard '61".

Dave Hagedorn, Photo by Andrea Canter
Dave Hagedorn, Photo by Andrea Canter

In 1964, Dolphy recorded "Out To Lunch" with Bobby Hutcherson, Freddie Hubbard, Tony Williams (only 18 years old at the time), and Richard Davis. This album was deeply rooted in the avant-garde, used unusual time signatures, and Dolphy's solos are as dissonant and unpredictable as anything ever recorded. Yet "Out To Lunch" was also deeply influential for a generation of jazz players, and remains a cornerstone in the modern jazz movement. "Out to Lunch" remains fresh and daring as ever and is often regarded not only as Dolphy's finest, but also as one of the greatest jazz recordings. Dolphy had intended to settle in Europe but he died in Berlin from undiagnosed diabetes on June 29, 1964 - weeks before Blue Note released "Out To Lunch". He was 36 years old. says: "Out to Lunch stands as Eric Dolphy's magnum opus, an absolute pinnacle of avant-garde jazz in any form or era".

That night at the Arists' Quarter, I talked to Dave Hagedorn during the break and asked if he would be interested in putting together a group performance of all the tunes from the album. He was excited about the prospect and the Twin Cities Jazz Society board agreed to sponsor the event. Dave assembled a great ensemble of the areas best musicians including himself on vibraphone, Kelly Rossum on trumpet, Phil Hey on Drums, Tom Lewis on Bass, and David Milne on reeds.

David Hagedorn is an Artist in Residence in the Music Department at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where he teaches percussion, jazz studies and world music. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance from the Eastman School of Music, as well as various music-related degrees from the New England Conservatory and the University of Minnesota. His 2003 CD SOLIDLIQUID was released on Artegra Records. He studied with, and has toured nationally with, George Russell and appeared on Russell's recordings So What and The African Game.

Kelly Rossum, photo by Andrea Canter
Kelly Rossum, photo by Andrea Canter

Kelly Rossum is gaining an international reputation as a creative force in the definition of modern jazz. It is difficult to describe his style as anything but unique; combining the traditions of swing, bop, and free jazz with the innovations of electronica, ambient, and trance music. He has appeared on over 20 CD recordings as well as studio sessions for Asche & Spencer

Twin Cities bassist Tom Lewis, noted for his lyrical solos and musical versatility, can be heard all over town playing bebop, hard bop, free jazz and swinging standards. A long time member of Eddie Berger's "Jazz All Stars," Tom is currently a member of the Phil Aaron Trio, The Five and other projects. A composer and bandleader in his own right, Tom is regularly called upon to play with visiting jazz luminaries like Benny Golson, Mose Allison, Jim Rotundi, Slide Hampton, Lew Tabackin, Charles McPherson and others. Lewis also keeps busy as a sideman to Twin Cities musicians, as a clinician and as a recording session player.

David Milne, Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, directs the UW-River Falls Jazz Ensembles I and II, and teaches Applied Saxophone, Jazz

Photo by Andrea Canter
Phil Hey, photo by Andrea Canter
Improvisation I and II, The History of Jazz, American Music, and Woodwind Performance and Pedagogy. He leads an active career as a music educator, professional saxophonist, and composer/arranger. He holds degrees from Indiana University (BA, MM), and the Eastman School of Music (DMA).

Phil Hey studied privately with jazz drumming giant Ed Blackwell for a number of years. Originally from Philidelphia, but since the mid-1970s, Hey has been one of the busiest and most respected drummers in the Twin Cities music scene. Over the years, Phil has played drums with virtually every active Twin Cities jazz musician, including membership in groups like Eddie Berger's Jazz All Stars, Departure Point, the Chris Lomheim Trio and countless others. Whether keeping the beat on standards with vocalists like Lucia Newell, burning through be bop in groups like Mulligan Stew or breaking down free jazz with folks like sax-man Pat Moriarty, Hey's sense of swing and versatility are welcome additions to any rhythm section. Phil has toured with Dewey Redman, Charlie Rouse and Kenny Barron. Phil also teaches percussion at Macalester College.

As part of the TCJS "Jazz from J to Z" Concert Series
Dave Hagedorn, Phil Hey, Tom Lewis, Dave Milne and Kelly Rossum performing the music of Eric Dolphy from album: "Out To Lunch".
The concert will also feature a performance by the Saint Olaf College Jazz Ensemble I directed by Dave Hagedorn
February 17th 2006 at 8 PM at the 'Pause' in Northfield on the campus of St Olaf. Tickets are $10 / TCJS Members $7 / Students $5 / FREE Parking.

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