Thursday, August 28, 2008

Otomo Yoshihide - Plays Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch

Eric Dolphy’s final studio album is hailed as one of the finest examples of mid-‘60s post bop. Its reputation is purely one of backwards significance. Dolphy, having recorded the album in February 1964, was in Europe less than six weeks later and was dead less than two months after that. Though likely he never held a copy in his hands or heard any critical opinion of it, it marked his last flurry of original compositions and is considered his apex. It is fascinating to consider whether he would had moved past or away from the album in 1965, had he lived.

Though Dolphy should not be considered an avant garde musician by the term’s most common definitions, most interpretations of Out To Lunch have been done by players working squarely in that area. So it is with this album, the most ambitious thus far in its recreation of the five-tune disc (with one original added to the final Straight Up and Down, extending the piece to almost thirty minutes) through the lens of fifteen Japanese and European musicians.

The New Jazz Orchestra is not a big band, but a loose amalgamation of distinct voices. This distinction is important, since a big band arrangement of Dolphy would sap the life out of his quirky, almost inconoclastic music. Here the intent is to bring a new meaning to the music, much like Warhol’s soup cans. Though the instrumentation of the original is represented (bass clarinet courtesy of Alfred Harth, one of the Europeans possibly influenced during Dolphy’s trip), also added are guitar, baritone sax (by the inimitable Mats Gustafsson), sho (a rare Japanese reed instrument played by international virtuoso Ko Ishikawa), electronic devices and piano. So while the melodies and spirit are in full attendance, there are often disturbing subtexts.

At times, the feeling is that of listening to the original Out To Lunch while a séance is going on to contact Dolphy’s ghost, with supernatural sounds swirling around the stereo. The effect is disconcerting, as is the post-apocalyptic cloud hanging over the arrangements, but it makes the effort more than an unnecessary tribute album. Instead, Dolphy is transported into the 21st Century and allowed to romp through modern developments in music. An inspiring concept and an album that will stretch the boundaries of anyone who comes into contact with it. allaboutjazz

Download Relic


Francisco - Opium!!! said...

xD, saludos!!!
Esta muy bueno este blog, Le puse "relics demente" en los link del mio = si tu haces lo mismo, se agradece!!!
Date una vuelta (go, and load music of "metáfora", my band of Temuko) y descarga todo lo que piyes...........
Deja un comentario tbn!
Your blog is Ok!!!! Good!

Daniele said...

e belin frà l'ho comprato ieri!

jizzrelics said...

ahahah non ci credo :D

Jiří Pára said...

Your concern for the world's situation and the advertisement and enlightenment that you are doing with your blog now is really honorable. Wish there were more people to do so.
However, do you think it is the right thing to advertise the concerns of starving people with a word like "breathtaking", just like Hollywood would advertise their latest movies?

Daniele said...

ieri out to luch eh (o meglio l'altroieri).
prima lo somatizzo, tipo un paio di mesi, poi se non me lo svanisco ascolto anche questo :D


Theo said...

AWESOME been looking for this, thanks!