Eric Dolphy: Straight Up and Down


Straight Up and Down


Eric Dolphy (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet)


Out to Lunch (Blue Note CDP 7 46524 2 DIDX 1136)

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Eric Dolphy (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Bobby Hutcherson (vibes), Richard Davis (bass), Tony Williams (drums).

Composed by Eric Dolphy


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, February 25, 1964


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

In his liner notes, the composer states that this performance reminded him of a drunk walking. Listening to the head that frames this wide-ranging free piece, one hears the analogy is apt. Dolphy's use of angular melodies incorporating intervallic leaps and rhythmic irregularities always catches my ear, and his passionate improvisational skills simply mesmerize. The rest of the cast gets plenty of space to expand on the leader's blueprint at a relaxed and leisurely pace. The interaction of vibes, bass and drums in particular makes for amazing shifting textures under Dolphy and Hubbard. It's still remarkable to recall that Williams had just turned 19 and Hutcherson 23 when this recording was made.

Reviewer: Frank Murphy


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