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Eric Dolphy

Eric Allan Dolphy (June 20, 1928 - June 29, 1964) was a jazz musician who played alto saxophonist, flute and clarinet. Dolphy was the first important bass clarinet soloist in jazz.

Dolphy came to prominence in drummer Chico Hamilton's quintet in 1958, and had a particularly fruitful relationship with bassist Charles Mingus, beginning 1959 and continuing intermittently until Dolphy's death from undiagnosed diabetes.

Dolphy recorded or played with such important jazz musicians as John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson and Tony Williams.

He also worked and studied with the classical flautist Severino Gazzelloni.

Dolphy's work is sometimes classified as free jazz, though Dolphy insisted his compositions and solos were grounded in a thorough, if occasionally unorthodox use of harmony. He made a number of recordings of unaccompanied saxophone solos. Dolphy also performed and recorded a flute solo written by Edgard Varese.

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