Unique Harp & Flute Combo In Its Original Mono Sound!
Limited Edition Neon Green Vinyl - 1000 Copies!
Dorothy Ashby was probably the greatestand certainly the most swingingjazz harpist of all time, re-purposing an instrument best known for ethereal glissandos into a fully versatile voice in combo settings, capable of providing both instrumental embroidery and rhythmic drive. But 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 among the hidebound environs of late '50s and '60s jazz. But it is that very uniqueness of her sound and station in the jazz world that has made her one of the most collectible musicians of her era, as her music has been sampled and celebrated by modern-day hip hop and world music artists (e.g. Jurassic Five, Bonobo) alike. In a Minor Groove is one of two albums she made in 1958 with flautist/saxophonist Frank Wess, and it is a marvel; backed by fellow Detroit native Herman Wright on bass and the great Roy Haynes on drums, she and Wess weave mesmerizing melodic threads through standards like "Alone Together" and "Yesterdays". But perhaps the most amazing track is "Bohemia After Dark", which displays Ashby's uncanny ability to turn her harp into a rhythm guitar!
For this first-ever domestic vinyl reissue of In a Minor Groove, Real Gone Music is using the original mono sourcesnot the rechanneled stereo and jumbled track listing that showed up on Prestige's later repackaging called Dorothy Ashby Plays for Beautiful Peopleand pressing up a limited edition of 1000 in neon green vinyl! Original album art with Ira Gitler's sleeve notes, too.
"Originally released in 1958 on the New Jazz label, this collection is the perfect introduction to the work of Dorothy Ashby, a true trailblazer in the world of jazz. She was one of the first musicians to introduce the harp as a serious instrument in the genre, and the mere fact that she was an African-American woman doing so helped crack the door open for the likes of Alice Coltrane and Brandee Younger. She's paired well here with flautist Frank Wess, a former member of Count Basie's orchestra who had already contributed to Ashby's two previous albums and got co-billing on Hip Harp, a record released by Prestige earlier in '58. Maybe this was a case of the jazz world wanting to grasp onto the novelty of a harpist in their midst, but there's nothing chintzy about what she and Wess do here. This is pure swinging pleasure that sits nicely with the cool jazz of the era even as it still plays around with some of the tempos and grooves of pure bop. The restraint that all the players evince here, particularly the otherwise tempestuous drummer Roy Haynes, keeps things well grounded and joyful." - Paste Magazine
• Limited Edition - 1000 Copies
• Neon Green Vinyl
• Original mono sources
• First ever domestic vinyl reissue
• Original album art
• Ira Gitler's sleeve notes
Dorothy Ashby, harp
Frank Wess, flute
Herman Wright, bass
Roy Haynes, drums
2. You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
3. It's A Minor Thing
1. Bohemia After Dark
3. Autumn In Rome
4. Alone Together