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Norman Connors

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Biography

Like Roy Ayers, George Benson, and Patrice Rushen, Norman Connors is best known for his major R&B hits but started out as a jazz improviser. The drummer/composer was born and raised in Philadelphia, where he lived in the same neighborhood as Bill Cosby and became interested in jazz when he was only a child. As a kid in elementary school, Connors was exposed to jazz extensively thanks to such schoolmates as drummer Lex Humphries and the younger brother of bassist and Jazz Messenger-to-be Spanky De Brest. Connors was in junior high when he began sneaking into jazz clubs and sat in for Elvin Jones at a John Coltrane gig. At 13, he first got to meet his idol, Miles Davis, and started expressing his admiration for the famous trumpeter by dressing like him. Connors went on to study music at Philly's Temple University and the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Gigs with Jackie McLean, Jack McDuff, and Sam Rivers followed, and he was first recorded as a sideman when Archie Shepp employed him on his 1967 Impulse! session Magic of Ju-Ju. After touring with Pharoah Sanders and playing on several of his albums, Connors signed with Buddah's Cobblestone label in 1972 and recorded his first album as a leader, Dance of Magic and its follow-up, Dark of Light. A few more jazz-oriented Cobblestone and Buddah dates followed, and it was in 1975 that Connors made R&B his main priority with Saturday Night Special (which included the number ten soul hit "Valentine Love"). The rest of the 1970s found Connors featuring R&B singers prominently (including Michael Henderson, Jean Carn, and the late Phyllis Hyman) and scoring such R&B hits as "We Both Need Each Other," "Once I've Been There," and the lovely "You Are My Starship." Connors, who signed with Arista in 1977, wasn't as popular or as visible in the 1980s, although he would make a comeback in the 1990s by signing with Motown's MoJazz label and focusing on both urban contemporary and crossover. The 21st century found him moving along similar lines, releasing Eternity on Starship Records in 2000 and Star Power in 2009 on Shanachie Records. ~ Alex Henderson
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
    Popularity
  2.   You Are My Starship
  3.   We Both Need Each Other by Phyllis Hyman
  4.   Say You Love Me
  5.   Keep Doin' It
  6.   You Make Me Feel Brand New
  7.   Morning Change
  8.   This Is Your Life
  9.   You Take My Breath Away featuring Danny Boy
  10.   Loves in Your Corner
  11.   Betcha by Golly, Wow
  12.   Just Like This
  13.   Lush Life
  14.   Dark of Light
  15.   Tell Me a Bedtime Story
  16.   Shades of Brown featuring Michael Brown
  17.   Stella
  18.   Naima
  19.   Dance of Magic
  20.   Where Do We Go from Here featuring Antoinette
  21.   Reach for the Sky by Terrell Carter
  22.   I Can't Wait till I See You Again
  23.   Kellie's Theme
  24.   Remember Who You Are
  25.   Adore (I Love You) featuring Lisa Numobuto
  26.   Listen
  27.   Once Again
  28.   You've Been On My Mind
  29.   Thinkin' by Chanj
  30.   Stormin' Norman by Herman Jackson
  31.   Star Power by Kirk Wilson
  32.   I Waited All My Life for You by Juanita Dailey
  33.   Private Stock
  34.   Anyway You Want
  35.   Stay With Me
  36.   Saturday Night Special
  37.   Phoenix
  38.   I Don't Need Nobody Else
  39.   Jump Street
  40.   Holy Waters
  41.   Kumakucha (The Sun Has Risen)
  42.   Drums Around the World
  43.   Carlos II
  44.   Easy Living
  45.   So Much Love
  46.   Just Imagine
  47.   Love from the Sun
  48.   She's Gone
  49.   Everywhere Inside of Me
  50.   You Bring Me Joy
  51.   Justify
  52.   Take It to the Limit
  53.   We Both Need Each Other
  54.   Bubbles
  55.   Remember When
  56.   The Captain's Choice
  57.   You and I
  58.   Only When She Cries
  59.   For You Everything
  60.   Once I've Been There
  61.   Your Love
  62.   Song for Rosa
  63.   Black Lightnin'
  64.   Laughter
  65.   The Creator Has a Master Plan
  66.   Butterfly
  67.   Captain Connors
  68.   Skin Diver
  69.   Walk on By by Antoinette
  70.   Do I Dare
  71.   Every Time I Fall in Love
  72.   Butterfly Dreams
  73.   Blue
  74.   Mr. C
  75.   River Nile
  76.   Kwasi
  77.   Sing A Love Song
  78.   Wouldn't You Like to See?
  79.   Star Flower
  80.   Destination Moon
  81.   One for Mr. C.
  82.   Party Town
  83.   You Go to My Head
  84.   Melancholy Fire by Glenn Jones
  85.   Maiden Voyage
  86.   Akia
  87.   The Day We Said I Do
  88.   Last Tango in Paris
  89.   Romantic Journey
  90.   You Are Everything
  91.   Rock with You featuring Kirk Wilson
  92.   Heaven in Your Eyes
  93.   Welcome to My Life
  94.   I Have a Dream
  95.   Mother of the Future
  96.   Handle Me Gently
  97.   That's the Way of the World
  98.   Disco Land
  99.   A Song For You
  100.   Be There in the Morning
  101.   Invitation
  102.   Together
  103.   Give the Drummer Some
  104.   Obsession
  105.   Lovin' You
  106.   Slew Foot
  107.   Twilight Zone
  108.   I Used to Be featuring Bobby Lyle
  109.   You're My One and Only Love
  110.   Thembi
  111.   Passion
  112.   Precious Love
  113.   Samba for Maria
  114.   The Sweetest Taboo featuring Antoinette
  115.   Beijo Patrido
  116.   Shabba
  117.   Kingston
  118.   Black Cow
  119.   I Am Your Melody by Spencer Harrison
  120.   Revelation
  121.   Sunday Afternoon
  122.   Saturday Afternoon
  123.   Two Thumbs Up
  124.   Dindi
  125.   Valentine Love
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