Dorothy Ashby: Taboo




Dorothy Ashby (harp)


In A Minor Groove (Prestige PCD-24120-2)

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Dorothy Ashby (harp), Frank Wess (flute), Roy Haynes (drums),

Herman Wright (bass)


Composed by Margarita Lecuona & Bob Russell


Recorded: New York, September 19, 1958


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

F.W. Murnau's silent film Tabu (1931) introduced a sacred Polynesian word into the pop lexicon. Shot on location in Bora Bora, Tabu tells of lovers fleeing their village after the girl's unwilling selection as a bridesmaid to the gods. Americans were scandalized by their first cinematic exposure to the au naturel South Pacific, abounding with bare-breasted native ladies. Here, a fully clothed Dorothy Ashby performs "Taboo" on an ancient and most exotic musical implement. Some instruments deserve to be taboo in jazz, but not Ashby's harp. This is solid, swinging jazz, whetted by Wess and whisked by the matchless Haynes.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz


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