Gary Bartz once quipped, “Norman Connors is not a great drummer, I’m sure he’d tell you that”.
Perhaps said tongue in cheek, Connors was objective enough to realize he wasn’t as gifted as some of his contemporaries – on the drums, that is. What he did have though, is a knack for producing and an understanding of showmanship and marketability. It is this which makes Norman Connors’ musical journey so interesting, that ability to navigate both sides of his musical world, the spiritual jazz as well as the R&B/soul side.
His recording career can be therefore split into two halves: the first four albums, displaying a more free, afrocentric side, and the part that came after, possibly as a twist, the crossover to the RnB/disco soul that garnered him the praise and success in the mid/late 70s and early 80s.
Below you’ll find my attempt to piece together Norman Connors’ multifaceted career as part of the Music is My Sanctuary Tribute Series.
Dedicated to the longtime Connors’ collaborator Onaje Allen Gumbs who passed away earlier this month…
Love From the Sun (Love From the Sun | Buddah | 1973)
Dreams (Slew Foot | Buddah | 1974)
Revelation (Love From the Sun | Buddah | 1973)
Mother of the Future (Slew Foot | Buddah | 1974)
Just Imagine (You Are My Starship | Buddah | 1976)
Butterfly (This is Your Life | Arista | 1977)
Aquarian Dream – Yesterday (Was So Nice Today) (Fantasy | Elektra | 1978)
Invitation (Invitation | Arista | 1979)
You Are My Starship (You Are My Starship | Buddah | 1976)
This is Your Life (This is Your Life | Arista | 1977)
You Are My Melody (Passion | Capitol | 1988)
I Don’t Need Nobody Else (Take It to the Limit | Arista | 1980)
She’s Gone (Mr. C | Arista | 1981)
Aquarian Dream – You’re a Star (Fantasy | Elektra | 1978)
Stay With Me (Mr. C | Arista | 1981)
Once I’ve Been There (Romantic Journey | Buddah | 1977)
Maiden Voyage (Saturday Night Special | Buddah | 1975)
Butterfly Dreams (Dark of Light | Cobblestone | 1973)
Thembi (Romantic Journey | Buddah | 1977)