Out to Lunch!

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Out to Lunch!
Dolphy Out To Lunch.png
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 1964 (1964)[1]
RecordedFebruary 25, 1964
StudioVan Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
GenreAvant-garde jazz, free jazz, Third Stream
LabelBlue Note
ProducerAlfred Lion
Eric Dolphy chronology
Out to Lunch!
Last Date

Out to Lunch! is a 1964 album by jazz multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy. His only recording for Blue Note as a leader, it was originally issued as BLP 4163 and BST 84163. Today it is generally considered one of the finest albums in the label's history, as well as one of the high points in 1960s avant-garde jazz and in Dolphy's oeuvre.[2]

Tony Williams had turned 18 a few months before this recording, and is listed as "Anthony Williams" on the album cover.

A few months after recording the album, Dolphy completed a European tour with Charles Mingus. He died shortly thereafter of diabetic shock.


The title of the album's first track, "Hat and Beard", refers to Thelonious Monk; the song contains a percussive interlude featuring Tony Williams and Bobby Hutcherson. "Something Sweet, Something Tender" includes a duet between Richard Davis on bass and Dolphy on bass clarinet. The third composition, "Gazzelloni", was named after classical flautist Severino Gazzelloni, but is actually the album's most conventional, bop-based theme. The second side features two long pieces for alto saxophone: the title track, and "Straight Up and Down", intended, according to the original liner notes, to evoke a drunken stagger.[3] In late 2013, two previously unissued performances were released on Toshiba EMI TYCJ-81013 in Japan. These are alternate takes of the two bass clarinet tunes "Hat and Beard", and "Something Sweet, Something Tender".

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic5/5 stars[4]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide5/5 stars[5]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music5/5 stars[6]

The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected this album as part of its suggested "Core Collection" and awarded it a "crown", stating, "If it is a masterpiece, then it is not so much a flawed as a slightly tentative masterpiece."[7] The album was identified by Chris Kelsey in his AllMusic essay "Free Jazz: A Subjective History" as one of the 20 Essential Free Jazz Albums.[8]

Track listing[edit]

All compositions by Eric Dolphy.

  1. "Hat and Beard" – 8:24
  2. "Something Sweet, Something Tender" – 6:02
  3. "Gazzelloni" – 7:22
  4. "Out to Lunch" – 12:06
  5. "Straight Up and Down" – 8:19

Bonus tracks on 2013 Japanese limited SHM-CD:

  1. "Hat and Beard (alt. take)" - 8:35
  2. "Something Sweet, Something Tender (alt. take)" - 5:42



  1. ^ Editorial Staff, Billboard (29 August 1964). "New Album Releases". Billboard. The Billboard Publishing Co., OH. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  2. ^ Jazz, All About. "Eric Dolphy: Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch". All About Jazz. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Still 'Out To Lunch' 50 Years Later". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  4. ^ Allmusic review
  5. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 62. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  6. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  7. ^ Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (2006). "Eric Dolphy". The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (8th. ed.). New York: Penguin. p. 359. ISBN 0-14-102327-9.
  8. ^ Kelsey, Chris Free Jazz: A Subjective History accessed December 7, 2009

External links[edit]