2012/2

リリース情報〜 Ohio Penitentiary 511 Ensemble / Hard Luck Soul

UK JAZZMANの人気シリーズHoly Grail待望の新作!オハイオ州の刑務所バンドの完全インディペンデント作。

当然ながらオリジナル盤は激レアです。限定プレス。

 

Ohio Penitentiary 511 Ensemble / Hard Luck Soul

1. Psych City
2. Mantra Dance
3. Counterry Bosa Devan
4. Java Man


If musical accomplishment is anything to go by, the members of the Ohio Penitentiary 511 Jazz Ensemble would immediately be given their pardon. Their privately-pressed LP from 1971 is a legend in obscurity, and a master class in what can be achieved in the most trying of circumstances.

The 511 Jazz Ensemble was made up entirely of serving prisoners in the Ohio State Penitentiary. It was founded in 1971 to give those prisoners with a musical aptitude an opportunity to be productive and creative.

Band leader Reynard Birtha was originally from North Carolina, where he played in a band called ‘The Outer Limits’ before getting into a scrape with the law and being incarcerated by the local Sheriff’s office. During a stint on a Southern style road gang he escaped and ended up in Cincinnati, and through a mutual passion for music he met fellow musician Logan Rollins, nephew of jazz legend Sonny Rollins. They became friends and jammed at local clubs before both ended up in the State penitentiary, for reasons not entirely clear. At the time it was customary for musicians to visit the prison and give concerts, especially during the Christmas period. Reynard remembers renowned musicians such as Art Blakey and Kai Winding giving recitals at the prison. These visits were not only a source of entertainment for the prisoners, but they were also a source of inspiration for musicians like Reynard. He and Logan formed the 511 Jazz Ensemble, incorporating the remnants of the prison Pit Band. Reynard recalls that “the number 511 was the PO box address of the prison, and we would perform in the yard during every holiday, while the prisoners marched around and got their food”.

Both Reynard and Logan had been to music conservatory and could read, write and arrange music as well as play in any musical key, unlike most of the rest of the band, which gave rise to difficulties in keeping the project going. However, with their enthusiasm and perseverance came success, when the visiting Ohio State University Band were so impressed after jamming with the inmates that they returned to make a record. Funding was put forward by a wealthy club owner and his conglomerates from Columbus, microphones and studio equipment were brought in from the outside and the recordings were made in the auditorium of the prison chapel. Unfortunately, as far as the business side of things was concerned, Reynard admits he was ‘green’ and didn’t receive any payment for his efforts. In fact to this day he has not even seen let alone owned a copy of the LP, the album which contains his sole recorded output, “All I knew what to do was how to read, write and play music.”

The ‘Hard Luck Blues’ LP was the band’s only recording, and the group disbanded after the release of Logan and Rollins. The music on the album comprises of four long tracks, each allowing the soloists to express themselves without restriction. Free of chains at the time the music is made, the result is a unique, compelling insight into the freedom that jazz can afford, giving a sense of hope and liberty to free and incarcerated men alike.

Norman Connors Discography

フィラデルフィアで生まれ育ち(ビル・コスビーと同じ町内だそう)、60年代半ば、コルトレーン・カルテットでのエルヴィン・ジョーンズの演奏に魅了されドラムを始める。
1967年アーチー・シェップの”Magic of JuJu”のレコーディングでプロとしてのキャリアをスタートさせ、そこで出会ったファラオ・サンダースと活動を共にする。
多くのセッションで腕を磨き、72年にCobblestoneとソロ契約をゲット。ゲイリー・バーツ、ディーディー・ブリッジウォーター、セシル・マクビー、ハービー・ハンコックたちとディープなDance of Magic (1973)、
Dark of Light (1973)というスピリチュアル・ジャズの傑作をリリース。75年にはゲイリー・バーツ、エディ・ヘンダーソンらと共に来日し、日本オンリー
のリリースとなる”Live At Nemu Jazz Inn-1″を録音。こちらはなかなかなレアー盤。この時期の作品はアフロセントリックかつハードコアな演奏でスピリチュアル・ジャズ好きな方には是非聴いて欲しい。

74年にBuddahに移籍し、よりソウル〜ファンク的なサウンドを指向。Cobblestone時代をStrata Eastのサウンドとすればこの時代はBlack Jazzレーベル的なサウンドと言えるかも。77年のRomantic Journeyを境に大胆にディスコっぽい
サウンドに近づいていくのもジーン・カーンらの音的な変遷を彷彿とさせる。サウンド的なクオリティは相当に高いのでこの時期のアルバムもモダン・ソウル〜ディスコ・ファンには外せない。

Norman Connors/Dance Of Magic
Norman Connors

Dance Of Magic

Norman Connors/Dance Of Magic
Norman Connors

Dance Of Magic

Norman Connors/Dark Of Light
Norman Connors

Dark Of Light

Norman Connors/Dark Of  Light
Norman Connors

Dark Of Light

Norman Connors/Love From The Sun
Norman Connors

Love From The Sun

Norman Connors/Slewfoot
Norman Connors

Slewfoot

Norman Connors/Saturday Night Special
Norman Connors

Saturday Night Special

Norman Connors/You Are My Starship
Norman Connors

You Are My Starship

Norman Connors/Romantic Journey
Norman Connors

Romantic Journey

Norman Connors/This Is Your Life
Norman Connors

This Is Your Life

Norman Connors/Invitation
Norman Connors

Invitation

Norman Connors/Take It To The Limit
Norman Connors

Take It To The Limit

Norman Connors/Mr. C
Norman Connors

Mr. C

Pharoah Sanders & Norman Connors/Beyond A Dream
Pharoah Sanders & Norman Connors

Beyond A Dream

US版 WAXPOETICS バックナンバー

US版 WAXPOETICSバックナンバーSALE!
日本版が出るようになってすっかり影が薄くなってしまいましたが未翻訳の記事などもまだまだ沢山載ってます。古いカタログは入手しにくくなってるので是非この機会にどうぞ。秋の夜長、辞書片手にじっくり読んでみるのもオツなもんです。オール500円!スペシャル・プライス。

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