Out to Lunch! was Eric Dolphy's only recording for Blue Note Records as a leader and 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 jazz avant garde and in Dolphy's discography.
The title of the album's first track, "Hat and Beard", refers to Thelonious Monk; the song contains a famous percussive interlude featuring Tony Williams and Bobby Hutcherson. "Something Sweet, Something Tender" includes a noteworthy duet between Richard Davis on bass and Dolphy on bass clarinet. The third composition, "Gazzelloni", was named after classical flautist Severino Gazzelloni, but is otherwise 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.
A few months after recording this album, Dolphy went on a European tour with Charles Mingus. He died shortly thereafter of a diabetic coma.
- "Hat and Beard" – 8:24
- "Something Sweet, Something Tender" – 6:02
- "Gazzelloni" – 7:22
- "Out to Lunch" – 12:06
- "Straight Up and Down" – 8:19