Norman Connors – 1972 – Dance of Magic

norman connors dance of magic front

A landmark first album from drummer Norman Connors – a spiritual jazz masterpiece that builds wonderfully on the post-Coltrane tradition! Norman is years away from his smoother soul recordings at this point, and coming out of a righteous jazz background that included work with Marion Brown and Archie Shepp. For this initial set, Norman’s in incredible company – working with players that include Herbie Hancock on both electric and acoustic keys, plus Eddie Henderson on trumpet, Gary Bartz and Carlos Garnett on saxes, Stanley Clarke on bass, and Billy Hart and Airto on percussion – plus a chorus of vocalists on the album’s mighty title cut!

Tracks
A1 Dance of Magic 21:00
B1 Morning Change 6:29
B2 Blue 10:20
B3 Give the Drummer Some 2:22

norman connors dance of magic back

Oh my god, oh my god!!! This album is totally incredible. I could leave this review at that, but that might be a bit lazy. In short though, there’s not many albums that have impressed on a first listen as much as this one has.

The title track, which takes up all of side one, is an incredible accelerator of a tune. This tune is like a totally magical pagan festival, full of euphoria, percussion, chanting, and just the most exhilarating music you could ask for, all packed into 21 minutes. Imagine a spiritual dance/festival, but condensed and pumped the hell full of steroids and energy, it’s so intense it should come with a warning. Side two is no less invigorating, but slightly more westernised than the title track. There’s a kind of spy film feel to the first two tracks, but with all the best elements of spacey, free, psychedelic and afrocentric all lumped into the equation. This album could almost be accused of being a little over the top, but thankfully it stays just on the right side of the ‘too much’ boundry.

Norman Connors, considering he was such a young guy at the time, has managed to pull together some of the best of the ’70s jazz world, for example, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Henderson, Cecil McBee, Stanley Clarke, Gary Bartz, Art Webb, Carlos Garnett, Alphonse Mouzon, etc. I suppose if you chuck that lot into a studio you’re bound to get something incredible come out of it.

This album literally shakes you by the scruff of the neck for 40 minutes, and then just tosses you aside when it’s done. There are not many albums out there that are as much of an exhilarating ride as this one.

Buy the Album

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20 Comments
  • Lemmy
    Posted at 15:29h, 28 October 2016 Reply

    Norman the Master.

  • A Jazzman
    Posted at 15:41h, 28 October 2016 Reply

    A “dream team” of musicians is involved on this wonderful album.

  • Mike
    Posted at 17:02h, 28 October 2016 Reply

    Never heard this one. Must be a jazz maserpiece listening that clip.

  • Van
    Posted at 17:23h, 29 October 2016 Reply

    Dope. Love it.

  • Marvelfun
    Posted at 12:06h, 30 October 2016 Reply

    Looks very intriguing, thank you guys!!!!!

  • Justin
    Posted at 12:16h, 30 October 2016 Reply

    Cheers for this! Fantastic & informative blog!

  • Loretta
    Posted at 13:14h, 30 October 2016 Reply

    Norman connors is amazing; Later he brought the best out in his artists;
    Phyllis Hyman, Jeane Carne, Dee Dee Bridgewater, to name a few.
    Thanks for the upload. Blessings

  • Micky
    Posted at 00:50h, 31 October 2016 Reply

    Wow! Killer.

  • Jumbo
    Posted at 09:26h, 31 October 2016 Reply

    Those were the days of great music.

  • Luke
    Posted at 11:22h, 31 October 2016 Reply

    A fantastic album throughout.

  • Georgie
    Posted at 10:22h, 01 November 2016 Reply

    Can’t wait to finally hear this, thanks!

  • SSroma
    Posted at 12:03h, 01 November 2016 Reply

    WONDERFUL

  • Xavi
    Posted at 12:47h, 01 November 2016 Reply

    One of those incredible records we all should listen.

  • Tony
    Posted at 14:46h, 01 November 2016 Reply

    I adore him. I remember Melancholy Fire feat Glenn Jones, an amazing smooth cut.
    Thanx for the upload.

  • Dorsey Arden
    Posted at 22:34h, 01 November 2016 Reply

    sick…

  • Leleki
    Posted at 09:44h, 02 November 2016 Reply

    Never heard it before. Will check it out.

  • Zen
    Posted at 09:46h, 03 November 2016 Reply

    Excellent…A classic!!

  • A.Feder
    Posted at 10:48h, 03 November 2016 Reply

    This is one of Connors strongest musical statements. Strongly recommended.

  • rich
    Posted at 23:33h, 03 November 2016 Reply

    thank you nikos

  • SeldomSeen
    Posted at 17:38h, 06 November 2016 Reply

    Amazing album!!! Thank you SOOO much!

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