Softly ,as in a morning sunrise, her ancient strings are plucked, grasped and manipulated to achieve the sounds of angel wings floating on a heavenly breeze.The Harp, the earliest versions are found around 3500 B.C. and since then they have been strummed across this beautiful world, including the kora from Afrika, the koto in Japan, or China’s guzheng, even Guiness beer has it in their logo.
The harp used to be an instrument for the orchestra pit until two young girls from Detroit , both born in August, decided to pick up this stringed winged bird and fly off to the groove of the Jazz bebop beat. Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane are two of the most famous jazz harpists I could think of that has really changed the course of the harp. I could probably count the number jazz harpists on my hands, and thank goodness with each year that passes another calloused fingertip comes into this obscure fold.
Where Alice Turiyasangitananda Coltrane strummed transcendental spirit fire on her harp, Dorothy Ashby plucked those strings with the cool hip shaking Soul that dug down deep into your bone marrow! I love them both, really, two of my favorite artists!
As with Alice , Dorothy looked out into world music to express her soulful voice. Mrs.Ashby played everything from the piano, the Harp, and the koto. I encourage you to get lost in both of their magnificent albums, you will be pleased nonetheless.
In the meantime, you can groove your socks off to this Dorothy Ashby compilation, which is just the tip of the cool iceberg! If you have heard one of the tunes in a mixtape I’m not sorry for the repeat , just one of her songs can make a mediocre mixtape superb! As you listen to each pluck, strum and mastery of the vibration I leave you cats to remember, Be hip, Be cool and always be groovy!
DorothyAshbyMixtape<<<– Lefty Clicky to get yer harpy groove on now or Righty clicky to hear the vibrations later!
1) Soul Vibrations – AfroHarping 00:01
2) Feeling Good – The Fantastic Jazz Harp of Dorothy Ashby 03:13
3) Myself When Young – The Rubiyat of Dorothy Ashby 08: 18
4) Truth Spoken Here – Dorothy’s Harp 13:33
5) Heaven and Hell – The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby 16:06
6) My Favorite Things – Django/Misty 19:12
7) Fool On the Hill -Dorothy’s Harp 24:46
8) Anto de Ossanha – Dorothy’s Harp 28:07
9) Nabu Corfa – The Fantastic Jazz Harp Of Dorothy Ashby 31:24
10) The Windmills of Your Mind – Dorothy’s Harp 35:07
11) Little Sunflower – Afro-Harping 38:07
12) Essence Of A Sapphire – The Fantastic Jazz Harp Of Dorothy Ashby 41:40
13) What Am I Here For – The Fantastic Jazz Harp Of Dorothy Ashby 44:48
14) Flighty – The Fantastic Jazz Harp Of Dorothy Ashby 47:04
15) Pawky – In a Minor Groove 50:27
16) Joyful Grass And Grape – The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby 57:28
17) The House of the Rising Sun – The Fantastic Jazz Harp Of Dorothy Ashby 1:01:01
18) The Moving Finger Jazz – The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby 1:03:53
19) Theme From Valley Of The Dolls – Afro-Harping 1:09:27
20) This Girl’s in Love With You – Dorothy’s Harp 1:12:55
21) Dust – The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby 1:15:28
22) Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise – Django /Misty 1:18:14