Ohio Penitentiary 511 Jazz Ensemble - Hard Luck Soul - Tape

Loathed Sound


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Ohio Penitentiary 511 Jazz Ensemble - Hard Luck Soul from the Loathed Sound archive.

High Quality stereo cassette of this extraordinary piece of Jazz history. One of the most beautiful examples of the freedom Jazz provides us far beyond the bars of man.

Hard Luck Soul, originally pressed in 1971, is the result of a single recording session by the Ohio Penitentiary 511 Jazz Ensemble, a group led by Ohio State Penitentiary inmates Reynard Birtha and Logan Rollins, nephew of Sonny.

The story goes that the two men – on trumpet and alto sax, respectively – were the lone talents in their ensemble, left to choose from the slim pickings of the prison pit band. One fateful day, however, the prison was visited by the Ohio State University Band. Members of the University Band were so impressed after jamming with Birtha and Rollins, they insisted on making a record with the two inmates as featured players, to be bankrolled by an unnamed wealthy investor. 

Hard Luck Soul, captured live in the auditorium of the prison chapel, is the result of that unlikely meeting.

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