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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Norman Connors

Norman Connors (born March 1, 1947 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American jazz drummer, composer, arranger, producer, and headliner, who has led some influential jazz and R&B groups. He also achieved several big R&B hits of the day, especially with love ballads.
Connors became interested in jazz as a child when he began to play drums, once sitting in for Elvin Jones at a John Coltrane performance he attended while in middle school. Connors studied music at Temple University and Juilliard.
His first recording was on Archie Shepp's 1967 release, Magic of JuJu. He played with Pharaoh Sanders for the next few years until signing with Cobblestone Records in 1972 and releasing his first record as a bandleader. He went on to front some great jazz recordings with Carlos Garnett, Gary Bartz, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Herbie Hancock such as "Love From the Sun" on Buddah records..
Connors began to focus more on R&B material in the mid 1970s after signing with Buddah Records. He scored several US hits with songs featuring guest vocalists such as Michael Henderson, Jean Carn, and Phyllis Hyman. The most successful of these was "You Are My Starship" (#4 R&B, #27 Pop), featuring Henderson in 1976, while "Valentine Love", his first chart success, made #10 R&B in 1975, with vocals from Henderson and Jean Carn. Dee Dee Bridgewater also performed with him on the jazz album "Love from the Sun". He has also produced recordings for various artists, including collaborators like Jean Carn, Phyllis Hyman, Al Johnson, Norman Brown, and saxophonist Marion Meadows.
His recent work, "Star Power", has seen him operating more in the vein of smooth jazz and urban crossover music, featuring Howard Hewett, Bobby Lyle, Ray Parker, Jr, Peabo Bryson, Michael Henderson, and Antoinette.


As A Lider:

Dark of Light (Buddah Records, 1973) 
Slewfoot (Buddah, 1974)
Saturday Night Special (Buddah, 1975)
You Are My Starship (Buddah, 1976)(RE,2010)
Romantic Journey (Buddah, 1977)(RE,2010)
This Is Your Life (Buddah, 1978)
Take it to the Limit (Arista Records, 1980)
Mr.C (Arista, 1981)
Passion (Capitol Records, 1988)
Remember Who You Are (MoJazz/Motown Records, 1993)
Insert B (The Real Deal) / Nobody Knows - Gurus -Jazzmatazz, Vol. 2: The New Reality (Chrysalis, 1995) 
Easy Living (Motown, 1996)
Eternity (Starship Records, 2000)
Star Power (Shanachie Records, 2009)

As A Sideman:

1967:Archie Shepp-The Magic Of Ju-ju 
1971:Pharoah Sanders-Live at The East 
1971:Pharoah Sanders-Black Unity 
1973:Sam Rivers-Streams 
1973:Pharoah Sanders-Village Of the Pharoahs
1974:Pharoah Sanders-Wisdom Through Music
1974:Pharoah Sanders-Love In Us All
1976:Charles Earland-Odyssey

As A Producer:

1976:Aquarian Dream-Norman Connors presents Aquarian Dream 
1977:Vitamin E -Sharing
1978:Aquarian Dream-Fantasy
1980:Starship Orchestra-Celestial Sky 
1980:Al Johnson-Back for More
1981:Phyllis Hyman -Can't We Fall In Love Again 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jazzman, Label

Jazzman Records was established by Gerald Short in the '90s as a music dealer. Later he went on a mission to re-release the best and most obscure and rare tracks from the late '60s and early '70s. The aim was to bring the long forgotten sound that didn't get any recognition in that time period. As well as running the Jazzman label he went on to set up two more labels, 'Stark Reality' releasing even more obscure but modern produced music, and 'Funk45' to reissue Deep Funk rarities. He later set up 'Soul Spectrum' and 'Soul7' to reissue Northern & Modern Soul rarities, and the 'Jukebox Jam' series reissuing '50s RnB, jive & blues rockers.


1998-VA- The Best Of Frank Motley & King Herbert - Canada's Message To The Meters 
1998-Kathleen Emery -Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child / Evil Ways (7", Single, Ltd)
1999-Frank Motley & The Bridge Crossings Ya Ya / Ooga Boogaloo (7")
1999-Bruno Spoerri / Howard Wales Les Electroniciens / Rendezvous With The Sun Pt. 2 (7")
1999-Dee Felice Trio / Los Brasilios Nightingale / Brasilian Beat (7")
1999-VA- Le Jazzbeat! Jerk, Jazz & Psychobeat De France (CD\LP)
2000-VA- Le Jazzbeat! Jerk, Jazz & Psychobeat De France 2 (CD\LP)
2000-Letta Mbulu / Lorez Alexandria What's Wrong With Groovin' / Send In The Clowns (7")
2000-Fred Johnson / Freddy Cole A Child Runs Free / Brother Where Are You (7")
2000-Carleen & The Groovers Can We Rap / Right On (7", Single)
2000-Sandi & Matues* / Trinikas, The The World Pt. 1 / Remember Me (7")
2000-Eddie Warner Devil's Anvil / Poppy Fiddles (7")
2000-Ray & His Court Soul Freedom / Cookie Crumbs (7")
2000-Highlighters Band, The The Funky 16 Corners (7")
2001-Esther Williams / Tommie Young Last Night Changed It All / Hit And Run Lover (7")
2001-PI-R-Square Fantasy (7")
2001-Barbara Moore Sound, The / Roger Webb Sound, The Hot Heels / Grey Sigh (7")
2001-VA- What Is Wrong With Groovin' (CD) 
2002-Nino Nardini / Anthony King Tropicola / Filigree Funk (7")
2002-The Basic / The Poets - Milk / Fun Buggy (7", Single)
2002-Madeline Bell / Alan Parker -That's What Friends Are For (7", Single)
2002-Lee Mason & His Orchestra / Jack Arel & Jean-Claude Petit Shady Blues / Psychedelic Portrait (7")
2002-Nina Simone Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter / Save Me (7")
2002-Nino Nardini Afro-Beat / Poltergeist (7")
2002-VA- Soul Freedom (CD, Comp)
2002-VA- Texas Funk: Hard Texas Funk 1968-1975 (CD)
2003-Deidre Wilson Tabac- I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes / Get Back (7")
2002-Mickey & the Soul Generation-We Got To Make A Change _ Give Everybody Some (7")
2002-The Chefs-Mr. Machine(7")
2002-The Great Deltas-Tra La La _ Stand Up And Be A Man(7")
2002-Latin Breed-I Turn You On _ Hard To Handle(7")
2003-The Soul Lifters-Hot, Funky And Sweaty _Brothers And Sisters(7")
2003-The Majestics-Funky Chick_ Coming On(7")
2003-Gordon Beck The Hustler (7")
2003-Byrdie Green / Kent Schneider Return Of The Prodigal Son / The Church Is Within Us, O Lord (7", Single
2004-VA- Midwest Funk- Funk 45's
2004-Mark Murphy / Eddie Jefferson Why Don't You Do Right / Psychedelic Sally (7")

2004-Wess & The Airedales Black Out (7", Single)
2004-France Gall / IRP-3 -Zozoi / Tema De Soninha (7")
2004-James Reese & The Progressions -Jody's Freeze / Let's Go (It's Summertime) (7", Single)

Marlena Shaw California Soul / Wade In The Water (7")

Gettysbyrg Address / Triste Janero Baby True / In The Garden (7")


Lorez Alexandria -Baltimore Oriole (7")

MaseQua Myers & Jami Ayinde / Mary Lou Williams Black Land Of The Nile / Communion Song #3 (7")

James Brown- Soulful Christmas / Christmas Is Coming (7", Single)

Le Groupe X / Remigio Ducros Transfert 2002 / Scherzi Pesanti (7")

Carmen McRae & Dave Brubeck / Oscar Brown Jr. Take Five / Dat Dere (7")
2004-Lemuria / Terea- Hunk Of Heaven / Pretty Bird (7")

2004-Heem The Music Monsters -Wake Up People / Piece Of The Rock (12")
VA- That's What Friends Are For (CD, Comp)
2005-Soul Toronados The Complete Recordings (CD)

Sam Most Plop-Plop Boom / Jungle Fantasy (7")

Elsie Mae Do You Really Want To Rescue Me (7")

Aaron Neville / Cyril Neville Hercules / Gossip (7")

Bajka The Only Religion That I Believe / A Vision (Part 1/3) (7")

Soul-Saints Orchestra Santa's Got A Bag Of Soul / Bag Of Soul (7")

Heliocentrics, The Winter Song / Dance Of The Dogon (7")
2005-Zebra Simple Song (12")
2005-VA- Hunk Of Heaven (CD, Comp)
2005-Soul Expedition Band, The Soul Expedition (CD)
2006-Carla Whitney War / It's You For Me (7", Single)
2006-Manny Corchado Pow Wow / Chicken And Booze (7")
2006-Kathleen Emery -Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
2006-Eddy Jacobs Exchange-Pull My Coat / Love (Your Pain Goes Deep) (7", Single)
2006-John Cameron Quartet / Mike Westbrook Concert Band, The Troublemaker / Original Peter (7")
2006-Jonathan Richman And The Egyptian Lovers* / Modern Egyptian Dance Band Egyptian Reggae / Our Wedding Night (7")
2006-Salah Rageb* Egypt Strut / Neveen (7")
2006-Ricardo Marrero And The Group* Babalonia (7")
2006-VA -Good Things - The Story Of Saadia Records
2006-Jayram Acharya* Santa Claus Is Coming To Town / White Christmas (7")
2006-Das Goldenes Zeitalter A Vision / Breakin' Through / Im Würgegriff Der Schönen Künste(12")
2006-BajkaI Can No Poet Be / Love's Serenity (12")
2006-Phillip Wright / Leno Phillips Keep Her Happy / I Like My Birdie (12")
2006-Raw Soul Express / Gwen McCrae The Way We Live / All This Love That I'm Giving
2006-Stony Island Band, The / Jerry Washington Stony Island Band / Don't Waste My Time
2006-Joe Coleman Get It Off The Ground (12")
2006-Lou Pride The Suemi Sessions (3x7")

2006-Quantic The World's Rarest Funk 45s (CD, Comp)
2006-VA- Pow Wow (CD, Comp)
2006-VA- Florida Funk (CD, Comp
2007-Asha Puthli Right Down Here / Space Talk (7")
2007-Sheila Wilkerson Baby You're A Jive Cat / Can You Do It (7")
2007-Sohail Rana / Punjabs, The Soul Sitar / Sitar Blues (7")
2007-Har-You Percussion Group* Welcome To The Party / Feed Me Good (7")
2007-VA- Dance The Latin Jazz (3x7") see 2008-Various Dance The Latin... (CD, Comp)
2007-VA- Dance The Latin Soul (3x7")see 2008-Various Dance The Latin... (CD, Comp)
2007-Natural Yogurt Band, The Voodoo (7", Single)
2007-Beloyd* Today All Day / Get Into To Your Life (12")
2007-Vanessa Kendrick 90% Of Me Is You / How Can I Do What's Right (12")
2007-Milton Wright Keep It Up (12")
2007-Willie Wright / DJ. Tibb feat Brothermartin & Willie Wright Right On For Darkness / Right On! (12")
2007-Paul Burton So Very Hard To Make It (Without You) (12", RE)
2007-Quantic The World's Rarest Funk 45s Volume Two (CD, Comp)
2007-VA- Carolina Funk (CD)
2008- VA- Dance The Latin Funk (3x7") see 2008-Various Dance The Latin... (CD, Comp)
2008-Della Reese with Bobby Bryant Quintet, The It Was A Very Good Year (7", Mono)
2008-Mary Lou Williams Credo / It Ain't Necessarily So (7")
2008-The Invaders Spacing Out / Latin Lips (7")
2008-Ada Moore The Devil Is A Woman (7")
2008-Bill Swift Trio Featuring Drenda Barnett Chain Of Fools (12")
2008-Tolbert- I've Got It (12")
2008-Tommy Stewart* Bump And Hustle Music / Fulton Country Line (12")
2008-VA- Dance The Latin... (CD, Comp)
2008-VA- -Spiritual Jazz 1968-77 
2008-Natural Yogurt Band, The Away With Meloncholy (LP)
2008-Bobby Williams Funky Superfly (CD)
2008-Uncle Funkenstein Together Again (CD, Album, RE)  
2008-VA-Welcome To The Party (CD, Comp)
2008-Milton Wright Spaced (LP, Album, Ltd, RE)
2009-Keisa Brown And Liz Spraggins Dance Man (7")
2009-Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro Yellow Soul Force / Don’t Touch, Just Watch Me! (10")
2009-Tommy Stewart* Unreleased EP (12", EP)
2009-Païkan And Sadhus, The Dance Floor Flight (12")
2009-Orquesta Esencia* Carnaval (12")
2009-Nathan Davis The Best Of Nathan Davis '65-76 (CD, Album, Comp)
2009-Ricardo Marrero & The Group A Taste (CD, Album, RE) altrn
2009-John Heartsman & Circles Music Of My Heart (CD, Album, RE)
2009-Mr. Clean & The Soul Inc What's Going On? (7", Ltd)
2010-Sun Ra- The Shadows Cast By Tomorrow (3x7", Ltd, Lum)
2010-Mark Capanni -I Believe In Miracles (7", Mono)
2010-Natural Yogurt Band, The Eastern Promise / Psalm (7")
2010-Sun Ra -The World Is Not My Home (3x7", Ltd, Cle
2010-Natural Yogurt Band, The Tuck In With... (Album)
2010-Lloyd Miller Trio, The The Lloyd Miller Trio (12", EP)
2010-Philip Cohran And The Artistic Heritage Ensemble* The Zulu 45s Collection (3x7")
2010-VA- The Jazz Box (3x7", Comp)
2010-George Smallwood* & Marshmellow Band Just 4 You (CD, Album, RE) 
2010-VA- California Funk (CD, Comp)
2010-Roy Brooks And The Artistic Truth Ethnic Expressions (CD, Album, RE, RM)
2010-Boris Gardiner Every Nigger Is A Star OST (CD, Album, RE)
2010-Marvin Peterson & Soulmasters,TheMarvin Peterson And The Soulmasters In Concert
2010-Brief Encounter, The* The Brief Encounter (CD, Album, RM) 
2011-Lee Moses Reach Out I'll Be There / Day Tripper (7")
2011-Pete Drake & His Talking Steel Guitar* The Spook / Oriental Twist (7")
2011-Sidewinders, The (2) Flatfoot Hustlin' (CD, Album, RE, RM) 
2011-Terea- Terea (CD, Album)
2011-Rose Mitchell / Jo Ann Henderson / Big Maybelle-Baby Please Don't Go
2011-Jef Gilson - The Best Of Jef Gilson

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Legendary Al Wilson


Best remembered for the soul classic "Show and Tell," singer Al Wilson was born June 19, 1939 in Meridian, Mississippi. From childhood forward he was singing professionally, and by the age of 12 was leading his own spiritual quartet and singing in the church choir, even performing covers of country and western hits as circumstances dictated. While he was in high school, Wilson and his family relocated to San Bernadino, California, where he worked odd jobs as a mail carrier, a janitor, and an office clerk, in addition to teaching himself to play drums; after graduation he spent four years touring with Johnny Harris and the Statesmen before joining the U.S. Navy and singing with an enlisted men's chorus. After a two-year military stint, Wilson settled in Los Angeles, touring the local nightclub circuit before joining the R&B vocal group the Jewels; from there he landed with the Rollers, followed by a stint with the instrumental combo the Souls. In 1966, Wilson signed with manager Marc Gordon, who quickly scored his client an a cappella audition for Johnny Rivers -- the "Secret Agent Man" singer not only signed Wilson to his Soul City imprint, but also agreed to produce the sessions that yielded the 1968 R&B smash "The Snake." The minor hit "Do What You Gotta Do" appeared that same year, but Wilson then largely disappeared from sight until 1973, when he issued the platinum-selling Weighing In -- the album's success was spurred by the shimmering "Show and Tell," a Johnny Mathis castoff that sold well over a million copies. 1974's "The La La Peace Song" proved another major hit, and two years later, "I've Got a Feeling We'll Be Seeing Each Other Again" cracked the R&B Top Three. With 1979's "Count the Days" Wilson scored his final chart hit, however, and he spent the next two decades touring clubs and lounges; in 2001 he re-recorded his classic hits for the album Spice of Life. Kidney failure took his life on April 21, 2008.

1969 - Searching For The Dolphins
1973 - Show And Tell
1973 - Weighing In
1974 - La La Peace Song
1976 - I've Got The Feeling
1979 - Count The Days

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