Eric Dolphy

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Out to Lunch

One of the greatest jazz albums of all time, Out to Lunch has a unique sound that was never repeated: it stands alone. Dolphy uses all his three instruments, alto saxophone, bass clarinet and flute, to maximum effect, and they combine with Bobby Hutcherson’s vibraphone and Tony William’s combination of swing, march, and free percussive effects, to create a surreal, dream-like atmosphere throughout. This is free jazz, and Dolphy’s solos are as weird as anything you’ll ever hear (unless you listen to a lot of Anthony Braxton), but it’s not screaming free jazz, and there are complicated and unforgettable melodies and arrangements on each of the five individual masterpieces. Freddie Hubbard is there on trumpet too, sounding just as at home as he would in a bop setting.