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Out To Lunch [LP]
Vinyl | LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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Out To Lunch (The Rudy Van Gelder Edition)
|Amazon Music Unlimited|
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, March 23, 1999
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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.
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Eric Dolphy is one of the most infamous/influential figures in the history of jazz. His brand of jazz was not rooted in blues but in classical music, hence his compositions and his playing technique taking on a more angular approach. As a result, he was criticized for not being "jazz enough" and the music being too sophisticated. Regardless of the criticism, Dolphy created a new identity of jazz: One that blends steady/catchy rhythms with highly abstracted harmony and melody (extremely difficult for musicians to do.) Out to Lunch is perhaps his most fully realized effort. This is not for your casual jazz listener however. This was the kind of jazz I did not get when I was 18-24. It just seemed like everyone was going in a different direction at times I thought. If you want to challage your love of jazz, you'll need to put down your conceptions of music, have an open mind, and listen to it to see if it resonates or not.
Out to Lunch is a masterpiece of jazz music, specifically in avant-garde jazz. In close introspection, it isn't as avant-garde, as say for example, John Coltrane's Om or Cecil Taylor's Unit Structures. Its avant-garde nature is more along the lines of Andrew Hill's Judgement! and Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come. It's a cusp record: It straddles between avant-garde and tonal bebop harmony, which gave Out to Lunch its reputation and legacy. This is Dolphy's tribute to jazz legend Thelonious Monk (Monk had a distinctive appearance, as he was known to wear sunglasses, hats, and a beard to go with it. Hence, Hat and Beard.) Right away, the composition starts with a somewhat odd rhythm with brief flashes of vibraphones and a rolling bassline. After a few moments, the main theme is introduced.* In standard Dolphy language, the theme is disorienting but melodic enough to follow the sense of rhythm and swing in the composition. After the theme comes the solos. Dolphy breaks into his style of improvisation: Wide intervals, replete with rapid runs and trills in between, laced with animal-like effects, such as squawking, honking, bleeting, and many more I could mention. These techniques give Dolphy's sound a more light-hearted, humorous feel to it. Sit down and dig that crazy musis man!
The Toshiba EMI import release of Eric Dolphy's last US studio date Out to Lunch is, inexplicably, folded into mono. It was originally recorded and mixed in stereo: Left - Center - Right (horns left, bass center, drums right). The Amazon.com sound samples misrepresent the Toshiba EMI CD since they are in stereo, ripped from the domestic RVG Series issue.
I cannot recommend this import. It suffers from the same excessive compression found on most of the RVG series reissues. I hope that Joe Harley and Alan Toshida at Audio Wave will consider remastering "Out to Lunch" as part of their exemplary Blue Note XRCD series.
If you're a bit like me and like to search out cool new sounds, I highly recommend giving this disc a spin. I think you will be delighted!
Apparently most if not all of Eric Dolphy's CDs are still in print, so I hope to enjoy more of this great music.
Enjoy & God bless!
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out to lunch is also an imperative.Read more