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Afro Harping [Original recording remastered]

Dorothy Ashby Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 8.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Afro Harping + In a Minor Groove
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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Mar 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Universal Jazz
  • ASIN: B00008LKG0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,817 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Soul Vibrations 3:220.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Games 3:570.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Action Line 3:430.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Lonely Girl 3:150.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Life Has Its Trials 4:310.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Afro-Harping 3:010.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Little Sunflower 3:470.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Valley Of The Dolls (Theme) (Album Version) 3:350.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Come Live With Me 2:390.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. The Look Of Love 4:060.79  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sublime 15 Jun 2005
Format:Audio CD
Be-bop Jazz Noodling - on the harp!!!!
I can almost hear you laughing now.
But wait, put those predjudices away and listen to this album. If you can only think of jazz played by cats on horns, or your only image of a harp is on the side of a pint of Guiness be prepared for a shock.
Dorothy Ashby was a classically trained harpist who could see the potential her instrument had for jazz.
Accompanied by a wonderfully tight and funky small band she breaks open the songs here and reveals a lighter more sublime side to jazz. Rather than the agressive attack that a sax or piano might have made her harp seeks not so much to blast you away as to envelop you in.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Massive, warm and irresistable. 24 Dec 2004
By kit7635
Format:Audio CD
Beefy and uplifting set of Motown-esque instrumental groove from 1968, Dorothy leading with watery harp ripplings. Drums, stinging tambourine, conga and bongos mixed loud, pumping bass, strings, some squiggly moog solos, mandatory flute spaciness and lots of reverb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wider recognition required 21 Jan 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Why I've never heard of Dorothy Ashby before I just do not know! Found her by looking at samples used by Angie Stone: check out Come Live With Me from the album Stone Love. A beautiful track in it's own right but when you know where it's come from... I've now purchased most of Dorothy's output and if I haven't then I've found it on Youtube! This album and maybe 'Dorothy's Harp' are the funkiest of them, a sampler's heaven. Also, if you have anything of hers on vinyl you may be sitting on some serious money!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the BEST jazz harp album in history ! 15 Aug 2004
By Susan Taggart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Dorothy played bop with the creme of jazz musicians including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Booker T. Jones. She is best remembered for her pioneering jazz funk studio work in the 1960's. She was befriended by singer Bill Withers, (Lean on Me), who helped her obtain work with Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and other prominent popular musicians. She released nine solo albums in the 60's, the best of which are the three albums for Cadet:

Afro Harping, Cadet LPS-809,

Dorothy's Harp (VERY RARE - choose between a car payment or the vinyl) her personal best in my opinion Cadet LPS-825

Rubaiyat, Cadet LPS-841

I fell in love with Dorothy Ashby as a little girl, and she became my "hero" upon reading about her life. Her father was jazz guitarist and she grew up sitting in on jams with her piano. She took up the harp in high school where she had to share an instrument with many students. After several successful years as a pianist in Detroit jazz clubs, she took a huge risk in realizing her goal of purchasing her own harp and cleverly marketing her trio with free shows and events.

The album, Afro Harping, is a ground-breaking recording because of its merger of classical string arrangements, chunk bass, tight winds and a throbbing drum beat. The ethic of jazz is to internalize the melody long enough to hold it in your soul. Then, in the case of the harp, to literally PULL it from within your body and using your prism, your own paradigm ... directing its energy through the instrument and sending the song's power into the room. Dorothy's prism was lush, quirky, funky and full of nuance.

I have this quote in calligraphy on my harp rehearsal room wall:

"Jazz harp isn't just a novelty, though that is what you expect. The harp has a clean jazz voice with a resonance and syncopation that turn familiar jazz phrasing inside out."

Simply put, this album is an astonishing fusion of what, until Dorothy, seemed inconceivable to jazz aficionados!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Verve! 3 Dec 2003
By mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I only learnt about the existence of this record a couple of weeks ago on that great rare groove records web-site HIPWAX, apparently the original vinyl is a real rarity. Imagine my surprise when walking into my favourite record store and there it was on CD!
It is truly beautiful, it's the only record I've ever bought that I've played 5 times in a row upon hearing. While not everyone digs jazz-harp, I'm a big vibes lover, so I think this is amazing. And to be sure, there are some wonderful grooves on this, the song "Afro-harping" is a rare groove lovers wet dream. Unfortunately the session-men aren't credited, I for one would love to know who they were.
It's only going to be available until March 2006, so be quick!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent 8 April 2010
By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Harp is not normally considered a jazz instrument though it is not unheard of: Alice Coltrane made some great records in the early 1970s with the harp.

Dorthy Ashby is not nearly as out as Alice: in fact, not out at all. Most of the music on this fantastic 1968 album would be at home in a Audry Hepburn film of the era. It is a nice mix of lounge and blues. It is far from easy listening music, but a nice beveled mix of light jazz informed by the rock revolution

Either way, Ashby's harp adds a unique dynamic to all of this, and if you like esoteric ideas in jazz--even if you are not one to travel to destinations out--you should try this.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars before there was "downtempo" 12 Nov 2006
By delvon aka kiwi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
ground roots for todays downtempo electronic music. unfortunatly not much is known about dorothy ashby, she has worked with alot of big names in the 60's and 70's. as a black female harpist it's a shame she hasn't had more recognition. i just know of 2 album releases the first one is definetly more jazzy and on this one she experiments on the psychodelic side of the 60's decade while retaining a jazz influence. most of the artists on this album are uncredited unfortunatly. with just a few covers of known songs (all acoustic) the other tracks are so ahead of their time, it sounds up to speed with todays artist. this cd is a must own if you enjoy downtempo music. she is a chapter in the history for past, present, and future music!!!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars an album you just gotta hear ! 16 Dec 2012
By James W. Unger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Dorothy Ashby - Afro-Harping, Cadet Records , 1968

Dorothy Ashby was as strange as it might sound a jazz harpist who recorded in the 60s and 70s for lables like Prestige, Verve and Cadet. This little gem has been a mecca for hip hop artists over the years and has been sampled extensively ! ...and why not...great trippy grooves, tons of great bits and pieces showcasing a nice range of instrumentation..flutes, bongos, xylophone, harp......what else could you ask for........dont think that after listening to this album you will say "man...that was great, but it could have used a bit more harp!" (aka Cow Bell)
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