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Issue 1084

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Review

Norman Connors : Valentine Love: The Buddah/Arista Anthology

Norman Connors

9

6.1

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UK release date 08.03.2017

Out of all the crossover giants such as Benson,Hancock, Byrd,Cobham perhaps drummer Norman Connors is the lesser known but his credentials speak for themselves having backed both John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders at the start of his illustrious career before his roots changed somewhat to the excellent funky fusion of 'Slew Foot', his fourth album in 1974.

However his mainstream break through (which this compilation focuses on) came with the huge R&B hit “Valentine Love” featured on this excellent compilation a tender loving duet between singers Jean Carne and Michael Connors,but it was his next album that really catapulted him into the limelight 'You Are My Starship' which charted at number four on the US R&B single chart featuring Michael Henderson a talented Bass player and former Miles Davis sideman turned singer who also duetted with a nascent Phyliis Hyman on the alluring Stylistics cut "Betcha By Golly Wow" they also appear on “We Both Need Each Other”another sterling track from this definitive collection.

Soul Music Records are to be congratulated with this superb offering and Norman Connors too for introducing the world to great singers too such as “Prince” Philip Mitchell and Eleanore Mills and later, on material cut for Arista, Al Johnson, Glenn Jones and Miss Adaritha. Norman Connors is without doubt a towering figure who merged jazz and soul effortlessly into his own unique style.Sumptuous stuff indeed! The cd spread over 34 tracks comes with extensive liner notes by renowned UK writer Charles Waring including 2017 numerous quotes from Norman himself, longtime band members Jacques Burvick and Kenneth Nash and others and excellent overall mastering by Donald Cleveland. Top notch in my book!
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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