One of the masters of "kozmic funk". I found this CD in a bargain bin for $6.99 !!
Anyone here remember these classic jams ??
If not go buy it & "road test" it.you wont be disapointed:)
Norman Connors - The Encore Collection
1. You Are My Starship - Michael Henderson on lead vocals
2. Valentine Love - Michael Henderson on lead vocals
4. Betcha By Golly Wow - Phyllis Hyman on lead
5. Once I've Been There
6. We Both need Each Other - Duet with Michael & Phyllis
8. This Is Your Life - Phyllis Hyman on lead
9. Maiden Voyage - remake of the classic Herbie Hancock jam
10. The Creator Has A Master Plan - remake of the Pharaoh Sanders classic.
You are my starship wwwwwoooooooooo i foyund a lot of dark corners for that cut. betcha by golly wow was nice but i always liked the original version better.
Norman Connors was around for a "hot minute". I wonder what's up with him now...maybe hanging with Michael Henderson somewhere. I was pretty crazy about M.H. back in the day (couldn't resist those dimples) and "Valentine Love" will always be my favorite song by him. It sounds like a great CD for $7. I have most of the songs you listed on single.
How would you describe Norman Connor's role in this music? I'm trying to maybe compare him to a Quincy Jones/Sean Combs type involvement in the music. (I know Q and Sean shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence...lol). Sorta like a "super" producer who happened to be more famous than the artist who actually sang the songs. What's your take on this?
I saw Norman Connors perform over the summer & he is still on the money !!
His role is a little different than what you might suspect...it's much closer to being something like "bandleader". He plays the drums and also sings on cuts like "The Creator Has A Master Plan". He is an excellent FUNK drummer and just a so so singer. I suppose that's the reason he has always recruited top flight "soul singers" like Michael Henderson & Phyllis Hyman to... ....front what is an excellent "kozmic funk" band that at times has included the likes of Gary Bartz, Herbie Hancock & other great musicians. The show itself is similar to an old time "revue" where you get to see multiple lead singers, straight no chaser jazz, soul singing, raw FUNK and space FUNK all in one show !! So you get an entire package of entertainment for your dollar.......when I saw Norman Connors he had Ollie Woodson as the "male lead" singing the songs that Michael Henderson made famous. Norman himself plays the drums & acts sort of as an emcee during the show. There was a young lady who handled the Phyllis Hyman/Jean Carne female vocal parts (whose name escapes me right now), and she was dynamic as was Ollie. The crowd was nearly in tears as she sung the songs that had been made famous by Phyllis Hyman.
For me personally it was like being transported back to a time & place that was very special in my life. You see this concert took place on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh and was a part of a reunion weekend for the African American alumni. So this made sitting in the audience all the more special for me as I could also... ....see everyone in such a positive groove that night.
If you get a chance to see Norman, you should !! BTW....he told us that night that he just signed a new record deal with the Mo Jazz label.
You & your "dark corners".......LOL
That song was probaly the most popular song that Norman Connors did. I have a feeling that it holds a special place in the hearts & minds of many people.
I know I'm gonna get slapped for this, but I really didn't follow too much Norman Connors back in the day. From what your reply says, he sounds more like a "Maurice White" of sort. (Speaking of Maurice, my brother-in-law saw him recently and said his health is beginning to fail him...PRAY for that brotha! J
A comparison between Norman Connors to Maurice might be fairly accurate, especially since they basically put together all star bands with a constantly shifting focus and also successfully walked the line between commercial pop & something quite a bit deeper !!
(plus they both started out as straight up jazz drummers)
well actually by then i was in college and did find some dark corners but he played mostly in my single room hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm LMAO it was nice having my own place back then
I hear ya bruh .............(g)
Norman Connors had the slow jams didn't he ??
He did a good job of recruiting GREAT soul singers such as Michael Henderson, Phyllis Hyman & Jean Carne as vocalists, didn't he ??
It was music that was made for those "dark corners"
I had a friend in undergraduate school who was called Yoyo. She had a fantastic stereo system and an excellent music collection. She was always ranting about Norman Connors.
But for the life of me, I don't remember much of his music, I guess I'll be on the look out for encore.
I would say that your friend "Yoyo" has excelent taste in
BTW.....Norman is a native of Philadelphia and was very
popular there back in the day.
Q: What is "kosmic FUNK" ?
A: It was a type of "jazz-funk" that was very popular in the mid-late 1970ís with black college students and others.
Some of itís key artists were people such as Norman Connors, Lonnie Liston Smith, Roy Ayres and others. Some of the music of Sun Ra, Mahavishnu Orchastra, Santana & John Coltrane is also smoetimes thought of as "kozmic FUNK".
The music combined jazz/funk with a type of middle east influenced spirituality and it was quite erotic. Some of these artists went on to have some substantial hit records during the 70ís. Sometimes both the albums and the stage shows of these performers would also contain very serious "afrocentric" messages, of empowerment.
Q: What ever happened to "kozmic FUNK" ??
A: The year 1980 is what happened !!!
Remember during the same time frame we are discussing, the "Re-Ron" White House tried to institute a ban against the Beach Boys, performing on Federal property because they did not feel that it was appropriate for "hippies" to perform at government facilities ??
The same kind of thing was happening to Black artists as well.
Remember this is also the same time when many of the performers that could be labeled as "kozmic funk" also lost their record deals despite having a track record of BIG selling records. It was also during this time frame that eMpTyV did not permit videos by Black artists to be broadcast.
The "kozmic funk" artists with their outrageous stage shows and their positive & unifying philosophies would have been tailor made for the video age. Yet for the most part these performers have never been seen by the American public.
Eventually "kozmic FUNK" "de-evolved" into what is known today as "smooth jazz". The music sounds similar, however any messages of Black empowerment have been completely lost in the translation