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Out To Lunch


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Vinyl, March 25, 2014
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (March 25, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note (Universal)
  • ASIN: B00HG30D5Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,299 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Out To Lunch! was Eric Dolphy's only recording for Blue Note Records as a leader and today is considered one of the premiere albums in the label's history as well as one of the top avant garde jazz albums of the 1960s. Featuring five Dolphy originals - including the Thelonious Monk tribute "Hat and Beard," Out To Lunch! includes the artistry of Dolphy on alto sax, flute and bass clarinet along with Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Richard Davis on bass and Anthony Williams on drums. Out To Lunch was newly-remastered for vinyl by Alan Yoshida at Dunning-Kruger in Los Angeles as part of an overall Blue Note 75th anniversary vinyl reissue campaign spearheaded by current Blue Note Records President, Don Was.

Customer Reviews

I think those two albums are good comparisons.
Pen Name?
Out To Lunch is one of the best and most important albums in jazz history.
M. Scagnelli
The solos all seem to make perfect sense and sound completely natural.
G B

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Lord Chimp on April 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I never used to listen to very much jazz, but lately it has been a big interest of mine. _Out to Lunch_ was one of my first important jazz purchases in my current exploration, despite some admonitions saying that if one is new to jazz this isn't a good album. Compared to most of yas I'm still a jazz neophyte, but I think this album is AMAZING.
Eric Dolphy has one foot in the compositional richness of Mingus and another in the avant-garde -- at the time, Dolphy was boldly stepping beyond tradition. So perfect are these pieces that it can be difficult to tell where composition ends and improvisation begins, and that ambiguity is part of _Out to Lunch_'s hook. Solos build out of the written arrangement and overlay the rhythms; melodically and rhythmically, this is tougher and sharper than most of the jazz I have heard so far. The playing is absolutely great.
"Hat and Beard" is a skittering, tense work. Dolphy's solo trades off with the trumpet, while furious drumming seems to dare Freddie Hubbard to become more aggressive, and he must finally concede to a quiet tintinnabulation of vibes. Here vibist Bobby Hutcherson seems to face conflict of its own as the nervous rhythm continues to exact a stretched eagerness until the main theme makes a return. Mwahaha, I like it. On "Out to Lunch", Tony Williams' playing is like an entirely new drumming language, superlatively intuitive and subtly emphasizing the perfect notes. In Dolphy's words, "Tony doesn't play time, he plays pulse." (Might not really make sense until you hear it though.) In fact, the rhythm work on this whole album is all astonishing and very easily some of the best I've heard. Players scuffle around the a repeated theme with tense solos, baiting other players and everyone takes the spotlight somewhere, occasionally at the same time.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By G B on May 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The irony about Out to Lunch is that despite the controversy it generates, it is still one of the most popular, accessible, and downright TUNEFUL albums to come out of jazz's 60s avant-garde. (And it has absolutely classic cover art.) If the avant-garde really isn't your thing, it may horrify you; but if you have any sympathy for this kind of stuff, even if you don't know it yet, you'll probably love it. I second others' suggestion to listen to Monk (Brilliant Corners) and Mingus (Mingus Ah Um) first. If you like those two, then Dolphy's ideas here will make a lot more sense.
Onto the music: this isn't really a free jazz record, as in a bunch of instruments all playing at the same time without reference to harmony or rhythm. Every theme is composed (with strange, but very catchy melodies) and despite the fact that the improvisation goes all over the place, it somehow manages to stay entirely within the context set by the composition. The solos all seem to make perfect sense and sound completely natural. Dolphy is terrific both as a composer and an instrumentalist -- bass clarinet on the first two tracks, flute on "Gazzelloni", and alto saxophone on the last two tracks. Freddie Hubbard, a guy known primarily for playing hard bop, fits in really well here. And the rhythm section is stellar and downright telepathic: Bobby Hutcherson's spacy vibes, Richard Davis's solid yet stretchy bass playing, and Tony Williams's hyper-aware drumming. There's a classic sequence in "Hat and Beard" when all three engage in an amazing percussion discussion.
This was one of the first jazz albums I bought as a rock fan who enjoyed Frank Zappa and King Crimson. I was hooked instantly, and to this day it remains one of my very favorite jazz albums.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ian Ryan on February 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I'm afraid that this, my first review on Amazon, is primarily aimed at the 'music fan from Carlisle, PA USA'. I was actually searching for info on Dolphy boxed sets when I noticed that there is a newly remastered version of this incredible work now available...and thought I might check out some reviews. Then I read the drivel written by said 'music fan'. Now, I would just like to say firstly that the comment that all people who like this album (and by implication, all post hard-bop jazz) are 'elitist pseudo-snobs' is insulting and moronic. Secondly, the remark that this is 'the kind of music that has contributed to the slow death of jazz as a mainstream American artform' is about as wide of the mark as any kind of supposedly intelligent comment I've ever read by any one about music, ever. Indeed, it seems far more likely to me that it is the very conservatism of mainstream jazz and its refusal to continue to explore and experiment that has lead to the 'death' of Jazz. Anyway, had to get that off my chest. For anyone else, I really think you should buy this album. If you don't like it, at least you will have heard something unique. In any case, this is really not totally 'free' music - I think that Dolphy shared with Mingus an interest with tonally centred improvisation with occasional moves 'out'. As such, it is a good introduction to the early avant garde jazz of the 1960s. Finally, the rhythm section is, for my money, one of the finest ever assembled in Jazz history.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1999
Format: Audio CD
When I think of all the great tragedies in jazz, Eric Dolphy's sudden death just months after recording this breakthrough document of progressive jazz has to rank up there as one of the most tragic. It is evident to even the casual listener (and compared to some of more sophisticated reviewers below, I would have to count myself as one of the casual types) that "Out To Lunch" stands alone, with no real precedent nor successor.
The unique sound Dolphy has crafted for this session originates first from his apparent desire to carry forward Monk's and Mingus' unorthodox visions of jazz, while sharing their deep respect for jazz's roots. Unlike some other free jazz records, the blues is very much in evidence here throughout.
To play these original compositions, Dolphy employs a star-crossed lineup: 17-year-old Tony Williams, whose contributions are well-documented in reviews below, Freddie Hubbard, a talented mainline trumpter as a leader who once again shines on someone elses'free jazz record, underrated bassist/celloist Richard Davis, and revolutionary vibrist Bobby Hutcherson. It is Hutcherson's contributions worth noting here, for the vibraphone has probably never before been employed for this type of jazz, and it is so unusual to hear this light, cheerful instrument being used so effectively to help provide the dark mood that pervades this record. His interplay with Williams on "Hat and Beard" borders on psychic. Dolphy's own playing is not his very best, IMHO, but he provides the right notes at the right time, whether via bass clarinet, flute, sax, whatever.
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