Eric Dolphy was an American jazz alto saxophonist, flautist, and bass clarinetist. He is credited with pioneering the use of the Bass Clarinet as a solo improvising instrument. Born on June 20, 1928 in Los Angeles, California, USA, Dolphy's best work was often in collaboration with John Coltrane and Charles Mingus.
Tragically, Dolphy passed away on June 29, 1964 in Berlin, Germany. His death came at a time when he had unfinished work in America and was eager to prove himself before his upcoming marriage. Despite his aspirations, he succumbed to undiagnosed diabetes while traveling alone in Europe.
Dolphy's unique contributions to jazz continue to influence artists today. Some similar artists who share his innovative spirit include Andrew Hill, Archie Shepp, Ornette Coleman, Sam Rivers, Grachan Moncur III, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and many others.