Norman Connors - This Is Your Life.
Norman Connors emerged as a drummer recording with Archie Shepp, Sam Rivers and most notably Pharoah Sanders amongst others, having even sat in a for Elvin Jones on a John Coltrane session.“This Is Your Life” was recorded in 1977 and was his first album after moving on the Arista label in the USA, although ironically it was still issued on Buddah in the UK. “This Is Your Life’ billed as Norman Connors and the Starship Orchestra represented the pinnacle of Norman’s sophisticated production sound. He even enlisted the help of former Motown arranger Paul Riser on the title track. The line up included Gary Bartz on Saxophones, James Gadson on Drums, Bobby Lyle on keyboards, Wah Wah Watson on Guitar and Kenneth Nash on Percussion. The album also showcased two great vocalists Eleanore Mills and James Robinson.
Eleanore Mills has a beautiful crystal clear soulful voice, which can be heard soaring on the beautiful Jimmy Webb penned title track. “This Is Your Life’ had originally been recorded by Thelma Houston in 1969, and was covered superbly by Tracy Hamlin in 2013, but this is the version that most soul fans will remember the best. She also sings on the stunning version of Herbie Hancock’s all time classic composition “Butterfly” on “The Creator” and throughout the album. Norman Connors brought Eleanore into the spotlight with “This Is Your Life”, and although she has recorded many dance singles since, her voice warranted a more substantial career like Norman’s other leading ladies Jean Carn, Phyllis Hyman and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
This album was the first known recording of the vocalist James Robinson. You can hear him to the fore on the lovely up-tempo semi instrumental groove “Stella” and the beautiful ballad “Listen”. At the time of the release, the most popular track from the album in the UK was the instrumental “Captain Connors” a Jazz-Funk classic that is still a floor-filler over 35 years later. The track contains keyboard solos from Bobby Lyle on electric piano and Billy McCoy on Mini Moog even though the track only lasts just over 3 minutes. We are delighted to include as a bonus cut the extended 12” version that was unissued at the time. Not only is this version over twice the length of the album and 45 cut allowing for extended solos and a bass and percussion break, the rhythm has been changed slightly from the original. We are delighted to re-issue this album in our classic albums series. It has been re-mastered on CD to what I believe is the best standard to date. I do hope that you enjoy this album that is one of the best albums that Norman Connors ever recorded.
1 Stella (3:15)
2 This Is Your Life (4:11)
3 Wouldn't You Like to See (3:44)
4 Listen (3:51)
5 Say You Love Me (4:36)
6 Captain Connor (3:16)
7 You Make Me Feel Brand New (5:45)
8 Butterfly (4:58)
9 The Creator (7:58)
10 Captain Connors (12" Version) (7:22)
Label : Soul Brother
Ean : 5013993577225