Record Collector (magazine) (p.91) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[Ashby] creates a kaleidoscopic sonic canvas that blends jazz with soul, funk and oriental flavours."
Issued on Cadet in 1970, THE RUBAIYAT OF DOROTHY ASHBY is really a left-field offering for the jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby. But being a jazz harpist was--and remains--an outside thing in the tradition. Her previous offerings on Prestige were pure, hard bop jazz with serious session players soloing all over them. She then made recordings for Atlantic and Jazzland before landing at Chess in 1968 with AFRO-HARPING, which began her partnership with arranger Richard Evans. On this set for Cadet, she again teams with Evans who wears the hats of producer, arranger, and conductor of a string section. For her part, Ashby played her harp, but she also brought the Japanese koto into the mix as well as her voice. Expectedly, RUBAIYAT is no ordinary jazz vocal album--it is exotic, mysterious, laid-back, and full of gentle grooves and soul.