Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Eric Dolphy: The Berlin Concerts [Inner City, 1978]
Two astonishing sides and two more than adequate ones, all recorded in 1961. "Hi-Fly" is a feature for flute, an instrument not even Dolphy can induce me to get passionate about, and "When Lights Are Low" is playful to the point of waggishness. But the 19-minute version of Tadd Dameron's "Hot House," with Dolphy on alto and Benny Bailey on trumpet, is a fluent, unselfconscious synthesis of bebop and "free jazz" that sounds entirely up-to-the-minute in 1979. And the bravura exchanges on "I'll Remember April" will make your favorite guitar hero seem a slowhand indeed. A