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Out To Lunch [LP]
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Out To Lunch (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, March 23, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
But we've got an even better idea - let's remaster the thing, but instead of improving its audio quality, we can actually *reduce* the dynamic range and definition. We'll do so by compressing the highs and lows, then raising this undefined block of sound to a higher default volume. The result will be a CD that absolutely POPS out of your speakers when you turn it on, and be more audible in noisy cars or shop rooms.
Oh, sure, people who want to actually listen to the music with their full attention in an ideal setting won't be well served - the tone will be flat and gratingly loud. But the album is so good, they'll put up with it. Maybe somebody will write an online review advising them to seek out the imperfect but far more dynamic and listenable early CD and LP versions of Out to Lunch, but we can live with that.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This album is way out there. I started seeing cartoon characters listening to this album. It was really weird man. No wonder Frank Zappa never did drugs and idolized this guy.Published 6 months ago by Pink Floyd in Space
2014 Eric Dolphy- Out to Lunch Blue Note Records 75th Anniversary Edition from 1964's Original Master
Eric Dolphy is one of the most infamous/influential figures in the... Read more
I was unfamiliar with the music when I first purchased this. I liked this so much I bought the Music Matters pressing which is expensive but worth it.Published 12 months ago by james carignan
This is, by far, the "ugliest" jazz album I have ever had the misfortune of purchasing. If you are looking for jazz that swings and gives you pleasure in listening, STAY... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Ryan Frabizio
Listen to this and you'll know where Tom Waits got his inspiration. While recorded in the early 60's, this could have been recorded yesterday. Read morePublished 16 months ago by SRJ