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Out There

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 1, 1991
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Editorial Reviews

By the time of this 1960 recording, only his second as a leader, Dolphy has already dispensed with the "traditional" jazz instrumentation. With bassist George Duvivier and drummer Roy Haynes holding down the rhythm, Ron Carter moves to the frontline armed with a cello, joining Dolphy as he switches from alto to bass clarinet to regular clarinet to flute. Out There catches Dolphy at a significant crossroads: The music is more ambitious and more jagged than on its predecessor Outward Bound, but more cohesive and less aurally challenging than on his 1964 master work, Out to Lunch. Dolphy's improvisations---on each instrument--are bursting with creative, far-reaching ideas, expressive wails, and frenetic flurries while Carter's eerie arco (bowed) cello ambles quietly, sometimes melancholy, sometimes menacing. Dolphy's four originals show his absorption of Mingus---especially on the blues distortion of "Serene"---and provide perfect blueprints for his bizarre constructions. The quartet also handles one tune from Mingus himself (the ruminating "Eclipse") plus Randy Weston's fragile "Sketch of Melba." --Marc Greilsamer

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Out There
  2. Serene
  3. The Baron
  4. Eclipse
  5. 17 West
  6. Sketch Of Melba
  7. Feathers

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ojc
  • ASIN: B000000Y18
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,592 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By nadav haber on June 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
No one has ever played quite like Eric Dolphy. People tried to find out if he played "free" (what's the opposite ?) but he always played HIMSELF beautifully ! This is a marvelous and groundbreaking CD recorded in 1960 with Ron Carter on CELLO, George Duvivier on bass and the great Roy Haynes on drums. Dolphy plays his arsenal of wind instruments - including the alto, bass clarinet, flute and b-flat clarinet. The sound is completely original and it must have sounded strange to many in 1960. Dolphy's solo on the first track is mindblowing. Where did he get his ideas and sound from ? This is like a mix of Parker the man and a real bird - just great ! The playing throughout is just as great. The CD moves from hard driving to introspective moments with complete ease. This makes the time listening to the CD seem to pass quickly (it is not too long anyway) and everything seems fresh. The fresh and original spirit of this CD is outstanding - for anyone really into pure music !
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Format: Audio CD
When referring to Dolphy it seems like many writers point to his "Out to Lunch" recording as his best while "Out There" seems to get honorable mention. Of the many Dolphy albums and cd's i own, while "Out to Lunch was his most groundbreaking, i'd have to say that i enjoy listening to "Out There" the most. The title track is an amazing intro to this cd. The head is complex and the alto solo is just incredible AND the tune swings like mad. The next one, "Serene", starts with a beautiful intro, but then the mood changes when Dolphy goes off into an incredibly imaginative bass clarinet solo - unlike anything you've ever heard before. His flute playing is exceptional - in it's own league. In "17 West", while swinging like mad again Dolphy's flute playing reveals an incredible sense of urgency, which suddenly turns to beauty in "Sketch of Melba". Dolphy is also backed by some of the finest musicians in jazz: Carter, Duvivier and Haynes. Dolphy's playing is "jubilantly free" yet like i said earlier, swings - moreso than on "Out to Lunch". Recommended!
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Format: Audio CD
This release has plenty to recommend it, including the versatility of Dolphy's playing. From the delicate flute of "17 West" to the aggressive bass clarinet of "Serene," he covers an impressive gamut of sounds. Ron Carter's superb work on cello, set against the solid bass of George Duvivier and the impeccable drumming of Roy Haynes makes the album a rich and unpredicable listening experience.
Even if none of that were true, though, I'd still give "Out There" high marks on the basis of just one tune: "Feathers," unfortunately not sampled here. With this one song, Dolphy blows away all the detractors who said he lacked form, that he was too wild and undisciplined to create coherent solos and meaningful music.
"Feathers" opens with a slow, building line that ultimately dissolves into an alto solo that is, for me, quite simply one of the best ever constructed. Duvivier moves with supple lines behind Dolphy while Haynes lays down a simple beat and then the altoist takes care of the rest. His solo has it all: power, passion, drama and an absolutely logical form that makes it sound each time I hear it like a perfectly told story. Its beauty holds up to repeated listenings, as all the great ones do.
Fine compositions (Dolphy originals plus takes on Mingus and Randy Weston compositions), a great band, and an inspired performance that belongs on the shelf next to the best ever recorded: there should be little else needed to give "Out There" a gigantic stamp of approval.
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Format: Audio CD
Eric Dolphy is a sadly underrated Jazz legend. During his all-too-brief career he performed alongside many greats (notably John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman) as well as a leader on his own. His second album "Out There" from 1960 finds Dolphy stretching the limits of what can be done in a jazz combo by dispensing with piano and adding, of all things, a cello as a second lead voice. Besides his usual array of wind instruments (alto sax, bass clarinet and flute), Dolphy also makes a rare appearance on a regular b-flat clarinet on the haunting cover of Charles Mingus's "Eclipse" (the only time Dolphy used the instrument on record).

Elsewhere on the album, Dolphy swings and sways especially on the two opening cuts, the title track and "Serene". The title track features some stellar alto sax workouts while "Serene" and the following track "The Baron" display Dolphy's dexterious talents as a bass clarinetist. His dancable flute playing is highlighted in great form on "17 West" and "Sketch of Melba". The former is another swinging affair while the latter is a haunting bluesy mood music piece.

The other musicians on "Out There" are stars on this album as well. Ron Carter (who later joined Miles Davis's second classic quintet as a bassist) provides the daunting task of playing cello and he does so with tremendous results. On every track, Carter displays a solid counterpart to Dolphy's woodwinds and even steps forward as a soloist on more than one occasion. Check out his solo on "The Baron". It's a killer.

Bassist George Duvivier and the legendary drummer Roy Haynes provide the rhythms on this album and on every track, they play flawlessly. The grooves they provide on the title track are worth the price of this album alone.
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