Eric Dolphy – Out to Lunch! (1964) [Remastered 2012]
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 42:18 minutes | 1.97 Gb | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Blue Note Records
Recorded February 25, 1964 in Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Originally issued as Blue Note BLP 4163 (mono) and BST 84163 (stereo)
High Resolution Mastering by Alan Yoshida and Robin Lynn at Blanche DuBois, April 2012
“In preparing these hi def remasters, we were very conscientious about maintaining the feel of the original releases while adding a previously unattainable transparency and depth. It now sounds like you’ve set up your chaise lounge right in the middle of Rudy Van Gelder’s studio!” – Blue Note President, Don Was.
Out to Lunch, Dolphy’s sole recording for Blue Note represented a pinnacle moment in avant-garde jazz. Poised with intriguing improvisation, this compelling listen would become a staple in the jazz canon. The album made a bold statement with its stunning instrumentation, ranging from alto sax to bass clarinet. This essential recording included a breathtaking tribute to Thelonious Monk.
Out to Lunch stands as Eric Dolphy’s magnum opus, an absolute pinnacle of avant-garde jazz in any form or era. Its rhythmic complexity was perhaps unrivaled since Dave Brubeck’s Time Out, and its five Dolphy originals — the jarring Monk tribute “Hat and Beard,” the aptly titled “Something Sweet, Something Tender,” the weirdly jaunty flute showcase “Gazzelloni,” the militaristic title track, the drunken lurch of “Straight Up and Down” — were a perfect balance of structured frameworks, carefully calibrated timbres, and generous individual freedom. Much has been written about Dolphy’s odd time signatures, wide-interval leaps, and flirtations with atonality. And those preoccupations reach their peak on Out to Lunch, which is less rooted in bop tradition than anything Dolphy had ever done. But that sort of analytical description simply doesn’t do justice to the utterly alien effect of the album’s jagged soundscapes. Dolphy uses those pet devices for their evocative power and unnerving hints of dementia, not some abstract intellectual exercise. His solos and themes aren’t just angular and dissonant — they’re hugely so, with a definite playfulness that becomes more apparent with every listen. The whole ensemble — trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, vibist Bobby Hutcherson, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Tony Williams — takes full advantage of the freedom Dolphy offers, but special mention has to be made of Hutcherson, who has fully perfected his pianoless accompaniment technique. His creepy, floating chords and quick stabs of dissonance anchor the album’s texture, and he punctuates the soloists’ lines at the least expected times, suggesting completely different pulses. Meanwhile, Dolphy’s stuttering vocal-like effects and oddly placed pauses often make his bass clarinet lines sound like they’re tripping over themselves. Just as the title Out to Lunch suggests, this is music that sounds like nothing so much as a mad gleam in its creator’s eyes. ~ AllMusic
1 Hat and Beard 8:24
2 Something Sweet, Something Tender 6:03
3 Gazzelloni 7:23
4 Out to Lunch 12:09
5 Straight Up and Down 8:19
Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet);
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet);
Bobby Hutcherson (vibraphone);
Richard Davis (bass);
Tony Williams (drums).