A pair of early gems from Norman Connors – back to back on a single CD! Love From The Sun is a spiritual jazz masterpiece from drummer Norman Connors – one of those unique albums he cut before moving into soul music – done at a level that rivals the early 70s genius on labels like Strata East or Impulse
Records! Connors worked with many contemporaries on those labels, and gets a good degree of help from them here, too – in a massive lineup that includes Eddie Henderson on trumpet, Herbie Hancock on keyboards, Gary Bartz on alto, Carlos Garnett on tenor, Buster Williams on bass, Bill Summers on drums, and even Dee Dee Bridgewater on a bit of vocals too! With a lineup like that, it would be easy to lay back and just do nothing – but you can really hear Connors' musical vision taking the lead – that warmly soulful approach that was there right from the start, given some great focus here by producer Skip Drinkwater. Tracks are all long, and free-flowing – a bit out at times, but always returning to the modal pulse of Connors' soulful rhythms. Titles include "Carlos II", "Kumakucha", "Holy Waters", "Revelation", and "Love From The Sun". Slewfoot is a really bold step forward for Norman Connors – a set that's still got all the spiritual jazz elements of his roots, but which also adds in some more soul and funk elements too! Jean Carn delivers some wonderful vocals on the record – at a level that's much more like her early Black Jazz recordings with Doug Carn, than her later Philly soul sides – and Connors heads up a killer instrumental group that features reeds from Hubert Laws, Carlos Garnett, and Gary Bartz – plus wicked keyboards from Reggie Lucas and percussion from Dom Um Romao too! The fusion players are all super-sharp – and really make the whole album crackle wonderfully throughout – on a mix of instrumental and vocal tracks that include "Mother Of The Future", "Slew Foot", "Dreams", "Chuka", "Back On The Street", and "Jump Street".