Fine Melodies

Dorothy Ashby – Hip Harp (1958)

Another amazing album of Dorothy Ashby. This is from another planet of groove, jazz coming from 1958 sounding like hip hop of decades to come. She brought the harp to jazz. Dorothy is a very underappreciated musician and her playing is magical and spiritual. Everyone should have her melodies playing on their electronic devices! In the 50’s, Dorothy along with her trio often played for free. She had her own radio show in the 60’s, and together with her husband they toured the country playing gigs, as well as writing and producing theatrical musical plays.

This album is with the saxophonist and flutist, Frank Wess. He was in Count Basie’s band as tenor saxophonist and flutist throughout the 50’s and into the 60’s. He is considered the great flutist of the era. He has over 600 song credits to his name. He passed away in 2003 at the ripe ole age of 91.


Mort Garson – Electronic Hair Pieces (1969)

Mort Garson’s Plantasia is probably his most well-known work, but all of his work is quite brilliant. Especially this one, Electronic Hair Pieces, which covers songs from the musical, Hair. He became a synth master during the 60’s, mainly known for using Moog. Mort has been involved as composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, and pianist as required in many top hits starting in the 50’s, and starting on his own projects in the 60’s. There is a great slice of a mini documentary on him floating on Youtube. I haven’t been able to find a longer version of the video.

Alan Watts – This Is It (1962)

A poetic album by the philosopher. Very out there and great. I didn’t know he had made an album until I stumbled upon it in Cincinnati on a road trip and bought it immediately without listening to it first. The record store was around the corner from a brewery in a church basement.

Alice Coltrane & Pharoah Sanders – Ptah, the el Daoud (1970)

One of the great albums by Alice Coltrane. Many of her albums are with Pharoah Sanders. Her albums are considered Meditative. Out of all the albums I have of hers, this is the one I play most, although I went through a phase of only listening to Universal Consciousness and nothing else.

She had a Vedantic center off Kanan in Agoura called Shanti Anantam Ashram. I’ve hiked past it a few times. If you go to the Westlake Reservoir hike but take the left trail instead of the usual one, you follow it all the way down to Triunfo Canyon. That’s where it is.

Paul Horn – Inside (1968)

Here’s another one I thought I might as well put up. Also has been played on Double Sided Galaxy many times. Paul Horn the great flautist, he passed away in 2014.

He began as a Jazz flautist in the late 1950’s and into the late 1960’s when he began practicing Transcendental Meditation, at which point he made his musical transition into the more meditative playing. He is known for recording an album not only in the Great Pyramid, but also in the Taj Mahal.

He recorded over 40 albums, and some of his more ‘out there’ greats are Paul Horn in India, Inside, Inside II, Visions, and Inside the Great Pyramid.

Tomita – Ravel (1980)

I thought I might as well put up Tomita. Played often on Double Sided Galaxy. He’s a classic synth man that passed away just at the beginning of the summer, 2016.

Beautiful synth scapes that transform the air around you into a bliss of vibrations. Best listened to on headphones or loudly in a room. It’s very dynamic music. I’d say one of his best albums is called Bermuda Triangle. All of his album artwork is very space age spiritual.


Cool guitarist from Agadez, like Group Inerane and Group Doueh, he had Group Bombino. Some super grooves. Sadly his latest albums have been taken mainstream because that guys from Black Keys took him to his studio in Tennessee and recorded his album, Nomad, which is actually really good too. But his first american recorded album, Agadez, is better and was recorded by someone making a documentary on the region of Agadez that hunted him down in Niger where he was in Exile after a couple of his band members were killed. Hefty stories about these desert blues guys and their groups, but they are really groovy.

Dorothy Ashby – The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby (1970)

A beautiful harpist from Detroit, funky jazz, reaching spiritual. Most active in 1960s. Notable albums are “Hip Harp”, “Afro-Harping”, and “Dorothy’s Harp”. This album I think is the most notable because it’s not conforming so much to other styles or funk, like “Afro-Harping” and “Dorothy’s Harp” do, which is a reason to check those out too though, because they are funky. She also played on many albums of other famous folk such as Louis Armstrong, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Billy Preston, Freddie Hubbard.

I think my favorite song on this album is possibly “Joyful Grass & Grape”.

Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza – The Feed-Back (1970)


This was an italian improv group with Ennio Morricone, the composer that to this day has over 500 scores to his name, plus over 100 other projects since the 60’s to present day. Other italian guys in this group I’ve never heard of before, but the drummer is insane on this particular album, which I found on vinyl recently. Another great album to check out is I believe self-titled, with a pink pattern cover.

Ilaiyaraaja – Solla Solla (1977-1983)