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- Hard Luck Soul by Ohio Penitentiary 511 Ensemble
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9/10 Andrew Customer review, 19th October 2014
This is a cracking album, a joy listen to, which makes it somewhat at odds with its background. An album originally issued in 1971 recorded by inmates at the institution they named themselves after this is the sound of escapism. Not the sort of leave the 9-5 behind escapism that many bands offer, but a real escape from the cages they were kept in. Now I'm not going to get all sentimental as quite possibly these were pretty bad man, I don't know their story. However I can appreciate the music they have made.
Just 4 tracks, but they are great. Kicking off with Psyche City this is a 10 minute jam of jazz, however there is a real rip to this, touches of a heavier funky sound make this stomperthat it is difficult not to get locked into. Next up you get Mantra Dance, another uptempo killer, a twist of latin flavour setting this up nicely. Again this has a tougher feel that would see this suitable for the dance floor.
On the flip you get 2 more tracks, Country Bosa Davan and Java Man. Perhaps slightly less intense than the first two tracks, but still great rip roaring jazz jams. There is a real feeling of joy that comes across, the release playing this music must have given the inmates transmits through the grooves. I'd recommend this highly.
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