Dorothy Ashby & Frank Wess - In A Minor Groove
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Dorothy Ashby was probably the greatest—and certainly the most swinging—jazz harpist of all time, re-purposing an instrument best known for ethereal glissandos into a fully versatile voice capable of providing both instrumental embroidery and rhythmic drive. Although she's since become a well sampled staple in hip-hop (Drake, Dilla, Pharcyde, GZA, Pete Rock & Cl Smooth), she was always fighting an uphill battle in terms of garnering critical and commercial success; both her gender and the exoticism of her instrument often prevented her from being taken seriously in the late ‘50s and ‘60s jazz scenes.
In a Minor Groove is one of two albums she made in 1958 with flautist/saxophonist Frank Wess; backed by fellow Detroit native Herman Wright on bass and Roy Haynes on drums, Ashby and Wess weave mesmerizing melodic threads through standards like “Alone Together” and “Yesterdays.” Stand-out cut “Bohemia After Dark,” displays Ashby’s uncanny ability to turn her harp into a rhythm guitar.
This first-ever domestic black vinyl reissue of In a Minor Groove, uses the original mono sources (not the rechanneled stereo and jumbled track listing that showed up on Prestige’s later repackaging called Dorothy Ashby Plays for Beautiful People), original album art, and Ira Gitler’s sleeve notes.
Heavyweight vinyl produced by Craft Recordings in 1992.