Outward Bound (album)

Outward Bound is a jazz album by Eric Dolphy, released in 1960. His first album as leader, it is somewhat less adventurous and more oriented towards straight bebop than the majority of his later recordings.[3] The album was recorded at Van Gelder Studio in New Jersey and features trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, who shared living space with Dolphy for a time when they both first arrived in New York.[4] The cover features artwork by Dolphy's friend Richard "Prophet" Jennings.[5]

Outward Bound
Outward Bound (album).jpg
Studio album by
RecordedApril 1, 1960
StudioVan Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
LabelNew Jazz
NJLP 8236
Eric Dolphy chronology
Outward Bound
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide5/5 stars[2]

Of the three Dolphy originals on the album, "G.W." is dedicated to the Californian bandleader Gerald Wilson,[3] "Les" is named after the trombonist Lester Robinson,[6] and "245" was the number of Dolphy's house on Carlton Avenue, in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood.[7]


Jazz critic Martin Williams wrote: "From the first selection on Dolphy's first album under his own name... it was obvious that fresh and important talent had arrived."[8] All About Jazz reviewer Douglas Payne described the album as "an ardently passionate gathering with pristine contributions from some of jazz's most flexible avatars... The music ranks, perhaps, as some of Dolphy's most accessible and most easily enjoyed."[6] Regarding "G.W.", J. Hunter wrote: "While the rest of the band lays down beats and fills that would not be out of place on any bop date, Dolphy steps out of the head to blister us with a mind-boggling, lightning-fingered alto solo that threatens to go over a cliff at any moment. Dolphy and his partners maintain this unorthodox balancing act throughout the 1960 session."[9]

Writing for PopMatters, Sean Murphy stated that Outward Bound "brings together a handful of the finest musicians who ever played their respective instruments, and it's more than a little coincidental that, when put in the same environment with a common purpose, there was an affinity and extra edge they conjured up, seemingly out of nowhere... If you've never experienced the joy that is Eric Dolphy, there is no better place to begin since this is where it all officially began. If, in the final analysis, it is not the unqualified masterpiece that Out To Lunch would be, and does not possess the truly strange and unfathomable wonder of Out There, it can contentedly settle for merely being a great album. Outward Bound, in sum, is a top tier effort from a tremendous quintet, and it signals the start of an abbreviated but incendiary burst of creative genius."[10]

Track listingEdit

All compositions by Eric Dolphy except where noted.

  1. "G.W." – 7:57
  2. "On Green Dolphin Street" (Bronislaw Kaper, Ned Washington) – 5:44
  3. "Les" – 5:12
  4. "245" – 6:49
  5. "Glad to Be Unhappy" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) – 5:26
  6. "Miss Toni" (Charles "Majeed" Greenlee) – 5:40



  1. ^ AllMusic Review
  2. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 62. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  3. ^ a b Simosko, Vladimir; Tepperman, Barry (1971). Eric Dolphy: A Musical Biography & Discography. Da Capo. p. 44.
  4. ^ Yanow, Scott (2001). The Trumpet Kings: The Players who Shaped the Sound of Jazz Trumpet. Backbeat Books. p. 195.
  5. ^ van de Linde, François (April 21, 2016). "Richard "Prophet" Jennings". FlopHouseMagazine.com. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Payne, Douglas (November 1, 1999). "Eric Dolphy: Outward Bound". AllAboutJazz.com. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  7. ^ Barnes, Tom (May 29, 2015). "The Story of How Brooklyn Became a Music Mecca Way Before Hipsters". Mic. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  8. ^ Williams, Martin (1993). The Jazz Tradition. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 252.
  9. ^ Hunter, J (November 14, 2006). "Eric Dolphy Quintet: Outward Bound". AllAboutJazz.com. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  10. ^ Murphy, Sean (February 6, 2007). "Eric Dolphy Quintet: Outward Bound". PopMatters. Retrieved October 25, 2020.