Mr. C

by: Norman Connors

Mr. C saw Norman Connors descend from chart action a little too soon, as it boasts a handful of cuts that should've performed well. Only "She's Gone," the leadoff number featuring Connors on vocals, registered on the black singles chart. Like the remainder of the record's first side, "She's Gone" sees Connors moving into synthesized sounds and rhythm programming -- if he hadn't lost the jazz purists through his jazz-funk and fusion cuts of the mid- to late '70s, they were surely completely gone after hearing this material. Suffice to say, this album has more in common with Cameo and D Train than Sam Rivers and John Coltrane. The first half is a straight-up party record, full of brisk arrangements and tugging melodic hooks. Despite the heavy use of electronics, this record employed another laundry list of guest musicians, including Marion Meadows, Pee Wee Ford, and Paulinho Da Costa. Most of these people are present on the album's second side, which moves back into the jazzy, smooth R&B favored by Connors on albums like This Is Your Life and Take It to the Limit. Lovers of both electrified and lush early-'80s R&B should not overlook this one. ~ Andy Kellman

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