10 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The harp has a slender presence in the jazz canon. But if a bass can be plucked pizzicato-style to make solos, then why not an instrument with nearly four dozen strings? After proving that she could play classic bebop on her axe, Dorothy Ashby tacked toward fusion with this late-’60s release. Swirling orchestral arrangements and additional soloing instruments (like the flute on “Action Line”) contribute to the chill mood. But the focus is on Ashby’s sterling technique, as showcased in the title track’s shimmering solo.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The harp has a slender presence in the jazz canon. But if a bass can be plucked pizzicato-style to make solos, then why not an instrument with nearly four dozen strings? After proving that she could play classic bebop on her axe, Dorothy Ashby tacked toward fusion with this late-’60s release. Swirling orchestral arrangements and additional soloing instruments (like the flute on “Action Line”) contribute to the chill mood. But the focus is on Ashby’s sterling technique, as showcased in the title track’s shimmering solo.

TITLE TIME
3:22
3:57
3:43
3:15
4:31
3:01
3:47
3:35
2:39
4:06

About Dorothy Ashby

There have been very few jazz harpists in history and Dorothy Ashby was one of the greats. Somehow she was able to play credible bebop on her instrument. As a pianist she studied at Wayne State University, and in 1952 she switched to harp. Within two years, Ashby was gigging in jazz, and in 1956 she made her first recording as a leader. Between 1956-1970, she led ten albums for such labels as Savoy, Prestige, New Jazz, Argo, Jazzland, Atlantic, and Cadet, guested on many records, and was firmly established as a top studio and session player. She moved to the West Coast in the 1970s and was active up until her death. ~ Scott Yanow

  • ORIGIN
    Detroit, MI
  • GENRE
    Jazz
  • BORN
    06 August 1932

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