2 of Dorothy Ashby's classic Prestige sessions – back to back on one CD! First up is material from Hip Harp – great stuff by the grooviest artist ever to play a harp! Dorothy Ashby had a unique soul jazz harp sound, and although the instrument she used is probably more thought of in terms of bedtime lullabies, she actually makes it swing nicely, and with a soulful sound that draws back to traditions of African stringed instruments. Ashby was part of the same scene as Yusef Lateef
, and like Lateef
, she managed to use odd instrumentation in new contexts, to get a very unique jazz sound. This set's got harp and flute in the lead, and features the tracks "Pawky", "Charmaine", "Jollity", and "Back Talk". On In A Minor Groove, Ashby swings with an other-wordly quality that's simply amazing, quite exotic, and very much in the camp of players like Yusef Lateef
or Les Jazz Modes, who were trying similar experiments in jazz. This session features Dorothy in a quartet with the flute of Frank Wess, the bass of Herman Wright, and the drums of Roy Haynes, whose warm lyrical touches provide the perfect melodicism for the group. Titles include "Rascallity", "Bohemia After Dark", "Taboo", "Autumn In Rome", and "It's A Minor Thing".