Norman Connors – This Is Your Life (1977/2012)

Norman Connors - This Is Your Life (1977)/2012
Artist: Norman Connors
Album: This Is Your Life
Label: Sony Music
Year Of Release: 1977/2012
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Tracklist:
01. Stella
02. This Is Your Life
03. Wouldn’t You Like to See
04. Listen
05. Say You Love Me
06. Captain Connors
07. You Make Me Feel Brand New
08. Butterfly
09. The Creator Has a Master Plan
10. Captain Connors (12″ Version)

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The follow-up to the successful Romantic Journey, This Is Your Life was Connors’ first album for Arista and found him doing the same great, intelligent music that had placed him at the top of the list of true jazz/R&B innovators. His self-production debut, the record was done in the same style of his high-selling late-’70s efforts. Although Connors was highly regarded as a sideman with Pharoah Sanders, among others, jazz/R&B was definitely his metier. The title track is a delicate rendering of a contemplative Jimmy Webb tune, powered by an emotional vocal from Eleanor Mills. As a producer, Connors was unabashed about his R&B skills and the execution comes across more confident and defined. The melodic “Say You Love Me” has Connors stepping out on lead vocals; unlike many other jazz artists turned singers, Connors’ lack of great pipes provided a good juxtaposition to flawless backing track (having Jean Carn on backing vocals didn’t hurt either). This Is Your Life, more than any of his albums of the time, skillfully balanced his R&B and jazz offerings. The cover of Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly” has a phenomenal and dramatic arrangement with vocals from Mills and James Robinson. The last track, “The Creator,” doesn’t fare half as well but it’s not enough to dim the virtues of this effort. This Is Your Life is not only one of Connors’ strongest, but also one of the genre’s best.
Review by Jason Elias

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