Eric Dolphy Quintet / Eric Dolphy

Outward Bound

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The late multi-reed player/composer Eric Dolphy, one of the most pivotal figures in jazz, was a fiercely lyrical, imaginative musician at the forefront of the changes the music underwent in the 1960s. Dolphy, unlike some of his contemporaries, never totally abandoned the bebop approach of soloing over chord changes, but instead took his solos to fresh, expressive heights. Outward Bound, a quintet session from 1960, shows Dolphy in a somewhat transitional phase, his music closer to the hard bop of the late '50s than the free jazz of the '60s. "245" is a late-night blues on which Dolphy, on alto, testifies his feeling and loyalty to the form. The standard "Glad to Be Unhappy" is given a lovely, lively reading on flute, with the band providing appropriately spare, sympathetic accompaniment. "Miss Ann" features Dolphy swinging the bass clarinet with joyous abandon, as well as some crackling Freddie Hubbard trumpet. A highlight of this session is the imaginative, tasteful drumming of Roy Haynes, who has played with everyone from Charlie Parker to Pat Metheny.

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