"Sounds From Rikers Island" by the Elmo Hope Ensemble



On the record Sounds From Rikers Island (1963), The Elmo Hope Ensemble—featuring Elmo Hope, Lawrence Jackson, Freddie Douglas, John Gilmore, Ronnie Boykins, Philly Joe Jones, Earl Coleman and Marcelle Daniels—was composed entirely of jazz musicians who spent time imprisoned on Rikers Island. Their jail time had pernicious effects on their careers, rendering them unable to play, work, and explore while locked up for draconian drug charges.

Jazz critic Nat Hentoff quotes Hope (1923–1967) in the record's liner notes: "And then, I could get put away for a long time. Now what sense does that make? Putting a man away when, if you tried to help him, he could still create. He could still be a credit to himself and everyone else."

Read more about this album here.