In case you were wondering I have been getting into some jazz lately. Not nose jazz, also known as nose beer, but the music. I have heard it called the one true original art form that America produced. Conversely, J. Geils, in the comedy series Angie Tribeca, and I’m paraphrasing here, said ‘jazz is not only confusing and directionless, it’s also boring’. Maybe I agree with both—maybe I want to dropkick a Puma and just maybe I’m training for a marathon. None of that matters. What matters right now is Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch album.
I am a real novice when it comes to jazz, having gotten into Coltrane’s A Love Supreme years ago and then pretty much giving up when I couldn’t find another title that moved me nearly as much. Looking back, it should have not been that surprising, very few albums in any genre have impressed me in the same way. A love Supreme is in my top ten albums of all-time list on our sister app TriYou.
…. anyway, recently I delved back into Coltrane by way of the ambitious ‘Meditations’ album and have discovered some of my new (old) favorites. Africa/Brass, Ole, My Favorite Things, Ascension, Giant Steps and more. Really the only jazz album thus far that has really impressed me like some of the records I just mentioned is Dolphy’s Out to Lunch. For some reason the first listen recalled Radiohead’s Kid A—I can’t really explain why but it certainly made me want to listen again and again. Kid A is also in my top ten list on TriYou. I highly suggest that album and I highly suggest Out to Lunch as well. I don’t know enough about jazz to explain why I like it so much; I just know that I do. You should go listen to it right now and then agree with me, or disagree and we can fight on the internet…or meet in person and have a slapping match—or if you are a woman or child I will arm-wrestle you.
Back to Dolphy. His catalogue is limited since he died early—I assumed it was from drugs and just read I was totally wrong. In fact, the article said he was a teetotaler and didn’t even smoke cigarettes. Just by listening I would have assumed there were some chemical enhancements involved, it seems most of my favorite albums have been a product of that, i.e., The White Album, White Light, White Heat, In Utero etc. etc., but apparently not.
I have started buying any Eric Dolphy Vinyl I can find and I think you lovely readers should do the same.
In case you were wondering two of my favorites on Out to Lunch are “Hat and Beard” and the title track.
Good day and as Kurt Vonnegut might say, “Go take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.”