Jazz Harp and Dorothy Ashby

There is something profound and groovy about jazz harp. Art nouveau self-actualized in time, space, and sound.

The harp itself is somewhat confounding—but perhaps only to me. A number of years ago I found myself at a colleague’s informal harp recital at a university library. I remember feeling some reservations as I considered the event. I anticipated a highly skilled, though somewhat anemic concert experience—a delicate little harp emitting lovely sounds at a discomfitingly underwhelming volume.

I was dumbfounded as I attended and found myself apologizing to the universe regarding my prejudices against the harp. The full-size instrument emitted a very full and forthright sounds that demanded my attention as much as any solo concert piano would have. And of course it did. I always forget that both harp and piano are considered percussive instruments.

Thus is was warm delight when I found this little album, The Fantastic Jazz harp of Dorothy Ashby (1965) (US, Harp Jazz). Dorothy Ashby’s harp is amazing. I often eschew ballads and slow-tempo jams for more dynamic grooves, I found each song to be a peppy good time.

Please remember to always drink responsibly. Thanks!

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