You Are My Starship

by: Norman Connors

Early on, Connors didn't have the accolades bestowed on contemporaries like Billy Cobham or Tony Williams. Connors simply didn't possess their chops in the jazz idiom. But in a genre closer to R&B, and as an assembler of talent, Connors was in a league all his own. Slewfoot provided Connors all he needed to do in the "serious" vein, with tracks like "Mother of the Future." You Are My Starship has the sound of previous albums coming to fruition. The atmospheric title track represents a classic in the genre, with Michael Henderson's smooth vocals and bass playing, plus a solo on soprano sax by Gary Bartz. Connors does a masterful, slowed-down remake of the Stylistics' "Betcha By Golly Wow" with Phillis Hyman's bittersweet and romantic vocal. Hyman and Henderson duet on "We Both Need Each Other," and it shows genuine sexual chemistry between the two. Even though this was released in 1976, Connors was still having difficulties letting go of the old sound, as the Latin-styled but aimless "Just Imagine" proved. Connors put a good gloss on the often-recondite "The Creator Has a Master Plan (Peace)." You Are My Starship has some great work, and it's only one or two songs away from being truly essential. ~ Jason Elias

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