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Dorothy Ashby

Born Dorothy Jeanne Thompson, she grew up around music in Detroit where her father, guitarist Wiley Thompson, often brought home fellow jazz musicians. Even as a young girl, Dorothy would provide support and background to their music by playing the piano. She attended Cass Technical High School where fellow students included such future musical talents and jazz greats as Donald Byrd, Gerald Wilson, and Kenny Burrell. While in high school she played a number of instruments (including the saxophone and string bass) before coming upon the harp. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit where she studied piano and music education

Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Atlantic Records: More Giant Steps: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun's Atlantic Records differs in one key respect from Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Flying Dutchman, the most prominent labels covered so far in this Building A Jazz Library series. Those labels' discographies consist almost exclusively of jazz. Atlantic had parallel interests in soul and rhythm-and-blues and, later, rock. This had consequences, as ...

Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums

Read "Prestige Records: An Alternative Top 20 Albums" reviewed by Chris May

Along with Alfred Lion's Blue Note and Orrin Keepnews' Riverside, Bob Weinstock's Prestige was at the top table of independent New York City-based jazz labels from the early 1950s until the mid 1960s. Like those other two labels, Prestige built up a profuse catalogue packed with enduring treasures. Originally a record retailer, Weinstock ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet At Regional Cultural Centre

Read "Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet At Regional Cultural Centre" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny, Ireland February 15, 2020 History owes Alice Coltrane much more than the moniker of “John Coltrane's wife." Alina Bzhezhinska makes the point early on to the Letterkenny audience, on this, the final night of her quartet's ten-date Irish tour. A fine, pianist, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Brandee Younger: Soul Awakening

Read "Soul Awakening" reviewed by Serena Antinucci

Sembrerebbe quasi che Brandee Younger abbia preferito ripetitive udienze private con la luna, prima di decidere se liberare il suo ultimo lavoro discografico. Forse, in questi dialoghi confidenziali, la luna le avrà svelato i misteri antichi del mondo, della musica, donandole immagini uniche piene di incanto. A queste è rimasta aggrappata per lunghi sette anni, prima ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

These Leos Are Jazz Lions

Read "These Leos Are Jazz Lions" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Some heavyweight birthdays in this mid-August broadcast, which included new releases from saxophonist Ben Flocks, songwriter Mark Winkler and guitarist Paul Silbergleit with celebratory shout outs to songwriter Bernice Petkere, Benny Carter and organist Trudy Pitts in the first hour, Roberta Piket, Jeri Southern, Howard Johnson and Regina Carter in the second hour, Abbey Lincoln in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Brandee Younger: Soul Awakening

Read "Soul Awakening" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Sure the recording for Soul Awakening was completed in 2013, but we are more than fortunate that harpist Brandee Younger and producer/bassist Dezron Douglas have chosen now to free this music from the vaults. For Soul Awakening brings a defining clarity to what we've experienced on previous releases, such as the raw, groove/fusion of 2014's The ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lucinda Belle: Think Big: Like Me

Read "Think Big: Like Me" reviewed by Paul Naser

As a reported tour featuring Amy Winehouse's hologram nears in winter 2018 and news also comes of a final album by The O'Jays, it seems there is still room in the world for music rooted in soul and with “jazzy" inflections. Enter vocalist/harpist/songwriter Lucinda Belle. Less Dorothy Ashby and more Peggy Lee (if Lee ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Celebrate songwriters Abbey Lincoln and Bernice Petkere

Read "Celebrate songwriters Abbey Lincoln and Bernice Petkere" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Many special birthdays in this episode of A Broad Spectrum as we honor the great Abbey Lincoln and remember Bernice Petkere, named the “Queen of Tin Pan Alley" by Irving Berlin for her songs “Close Your Eyes" and “"Lullaby of the Leaves." Playlist Linda Dachtyl “A Late One" from A Late One (Chicken ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alina Bzhezhinska: Inspiration

Read "Inspiration" reviewed by Roger Farbey

There have been precious few harpists in jazz. Dorothy Ashby was one, David Snell who made a memorable contribution to John Dankworth's What The Dickens! (Fontana Records, 1963) was another. But surely the most famous of them all was Alice Coltrane. So it is that Alina Bzhezhinska has dedicated this album to her heroine. It's a ...


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