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Eric Dolphy

Eric Dolphy Outward Bound To Out To Lunch Revisited

Label: ezz-thetics

Format: CD

Genre: Jazz

In stock


Tip! *In process of stocking* In his comprehensive 1966 Jazz Monthly article, “Eric Dolphy,” Jack Cooke reported that the advance buzz aboutduet passages for bass clarinet and bass, “Something Sweet, Something Tender” approximated the hinge-like ballads that were a perennial feature on Blue Note A sides. Given its dedicatee – the flutist renowned for recording works like Varèse’s “Density 21.5,” which Dolphy performed at the Ojai Festival in 1962 – “Gazzelloni” is surprisingly boppish, ending the side with exuberant energy. A presumably unintended consequence of the sequencing is that Dolphy’s bass clarinet and flute were frontloaded on the A side, while his alto saxophone was relegated to the B side, where Blue Note also tended to place a session’s longer performances. Cooke contended that the title piece and “Straight Up and Down” made the case that Dolphy could no longer be considered a transitional figure, that the harmonic freedom and rhythmic displacements of his music essentially placed him in a new context. This necessitated new approaches to interactivity within the the Blue Note recording signaled a possible “new upward trend in Dolphy’s recording career.” This notion is supported by the substitution of Blue Note regular Hubbard and teenage phenom Anthony Williams for Woody Shaw and J.C. Moses of the Conversations quintet – by then, members Bobby Hutcherson and Richard Davis, with whom Dolphy had recorded the enduring duet version of “Alone Together,” were also recording for the label.

The album also benefited from Blue Note’s knack for sequencing tracks into two flowing, complementary sides, which explains the album opening with the Monk-inspired “Hat and Beard,” even though its jaunty mood was quickly atomized by Dolphy’s squalling bass clarinet solo. Despite deeply shadedensemble, where lead and support roles merge and mingle. Dolphy had the right colleagues for this endeavor, as they constantly enhanced the music by communing in this middle ground. The winding path between Outward Bound and Out to Lunch is easily explained, given the exigencies of a freelance musician blazing trails few were ready or equipped to follow. This is what led him to his fateful trip to Europe two months after making Out to Lunch. Had he returned after his projected one-year stay, married to Joyce Mordecai, Dolphy may well have picked up where he left off. But we will never know.

Cat. number: ezz-thetics 1143
Year: 2023