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Gunnar Schwant | Cinematic Music
Outward Bound, Eric Dolphy's first album as a bandleader, is unusual for a jazz debut in that instead of being a showcase for Dolphy's songwriting it instead shines the spotlight one last time on the long-time Mingus sideman's prodigious talents on a number of woodwinds. Though Dolphy composed three of the tracks here, all of them are fairly standard hard bop compositions that serve more as a platform for the band's soloing than the rhythmically complex experiments he would become known for later; the other three tracks, such as the standard "Green Dolphin Street," also seem like they were chosen for their malleability. This, of course, is hardly a problem when you're talking about an instrumentalist as gifted as Dolphy, though, as his flighty solos here already prove he was leagues ahead of the genre trappings of his songs, with ambitions as far out as anything you were likely to hear in jazz in 1960.