Eric Dolphy – “Out To Lunch!” (1964 / 1985)

ericdolphyouttolunchI’ve been working my way through a Jazz Top 10 list of sorts that my buddy Dave gave me a while back.  After all these years of knowing one another he didn’t realize I was way into vinyl, and I had no idea he was a jazz aficionado and had been for a long time.  So after talking a bit about jazz records I already have, Dave gave me this list of 10 titles to look for.    So far I’ve picked up and listened to John Coltrane’s Blue Train and Kenny Burrell’s Guitar Forms and came away impressed with both, plus he loaned me a copy of Bill Evans’ The Blues and the Abstract Truth.  I try to remember to bring the list with me when I go record shopping, but the other weekend I found myself without it while staring at an early copy of Eric Dolphy’s Out To Lunch! for 75 bucks, realizing the price was decent but not remembering if it was on the list!  So I passed.  And I’m glad I did, because at my next stop Daybreak Records I found a super clean 1980s pressing (the album was originally released in 1964) for a third of the price, and that’s what I’m listening to right now.

Dave noted that he thought this would be one of the more challenging albums for me, and of the four records I’ve heard so far I’d have to agree.  Out To Lunch! doesn’t have that same flow I’m used to hearing, at times more resembling individual snipits that are sort of just stuck together, as if the musicians were playing parts without being able to hear what parts the others are playing.  As a relatively new jazz fan, one could indeed call Out To Lunch! “difficult”, so I will.  This thing is difficult.  I’m clearly not getting it, so this may be one that I need to put on the shelf for a while and revisit later.