Out To Lunch(180Gm)
Format: LP, Vinyl
‘Out To Lunch!’ is Eric Dolphy’s only recording for Blue Note Records as leader. It was recorded on 25th February 1964. It features a quintet with Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Bobby Hutcherson (vibes), Ricard Davis (bass) and Tony Williams (drums) plus Dolphy on various reed instruments. Always a controversial album, ‘Out To Lunch!’ is now regarded as one of the most important albums in Blue Note’s history and a definitive recording within Jazz’s avant-garde movement. ‘Hat and Beard’, a reference to Thelonious Monk, is a Free Jazz work of art and like abstract visual art it needs repeated revisits to appreciate its complexity and intensity. Dolphy on bass clarinet captures the spirit of Monk’s harmonic innovations with aplomb. The inter-action between the five musicians or apparent lack of it, is intriguing. It appears they are playing five different tracks at the same time in a single take – a bit like viewing five Picassos on top of one another. This is Jazz but not as we know it. ‘Something Sweet Something Tender’ ambles somewhat direction less and has a trance like quality. ‘Gazzelloni’, named after classical flautist Severino Gazzelloni, is the album’s most mainstream piece. Dolphy’s flute excels on the album’s most accessible tune. Basically, it is a Blues, but the percussion and Hutcherson’s vibes give it an impressionist texture. The title track, ‘Out To Lunch’ is a multi-faceted musical journey that explores avant-garde themes during its twelve minutes that oscillates between the manic and the serene, the lucid and the incoherent. A work of genius? ‘Straight Up and Down’ is anything but and is intended to evoke a drunken stagger. Eric Dolphy died between the recording and release of ‘Out To Lunch’, so never learned of the critical acclaim it earned. He was just 36.