First the facts: This 2cd compilation brings together live recordings from four sources, all from Dolphy's last months in 1964. Live in Hilversum (June 2) and Eindhoven (June 1) are recorded with a Dutch trio: Han Bennink (d), Misha Mengelberg (p) and Jacques Schols (b). Live in Paris (May 28) is with Kenny Drew (p), Guy Pederson (b) and Daniel Humair (d), a later Paris date (June 11) is with Donald Byrd (tp), Nathan Davis (ts), Jacques Dieval (p), Jacques Hess (b), Franco Manzecchi (d) and Jacky Bambou (perc). Every recording on this set has been issued before, in particular the Hilversum date, which has been released many times as 'Last Date'. The other recordings are a bit less widespread. General sound quality is very nice, apart from the single final track (Eindhoven recording), which suffers from a disintegrating master audio tape. Combined you get over 130 minutes worth of music on these two discs.
Concerning the music I'll keep it short: Brilliant & my favourite Eric Dolphy recordings, full stop. Especially the Paris June 11 set impresses me time after time again. Here he reminds me of Coltrane in the same period, before he turned to epic freejazz screeches: explorative, spiritual, sincere and compellingly beautiful. Dolphy's rendition of Coltrane's 'Naima' is nothing short of stunning - as is nearly all of the music on these discs. Highly recommended.