Largely continuing the blueprint of A Sense of Direction, Relativity finds Walt Dickerson mixing standards with adventurous yet upbeat originals. This time around, though, there's a subtext to Dickerson's standards selection: all three – "It Ain't Necessarily So," "I Can't Get Started," and "Autumn in New York" – had been previously recorded by Milt Jackson, which invited explicit comparisons and gave Dickerson a chance to show off how distinctive and pioneering his Coltrane-influenced approach to vibes really was.
Walt Dickerson never got quite the credit he deserved for pioneering a modernist approach to the vibes during the early '60s, aligning himself with the emerging "new thing" scene and expanding the instrument's vocabulary beyond Milt Jackson's blues and bop influences. Dickerson's groundbreaking sessions for Prestige all predated the rise of Bobby Hutcherson as the hot new "out" vibes player at Blue Note, and while Hutcherson was a bit freer early on, Dickerson's work still sounded adventurous and forward-looking. ~ AllMusic