Norman Connors 'Slewfoot Collection' (Dynamite Cuts)
3rd October 2018
Norman Connors - Slewfoot Collection
'Slewfoot' / 'Back On The Street'
'Chuka' / 'Mother Of The Future'
Back in the early 90s, there were a lot of cheeky bootleg compilation LPs floating around shops in London like Soul Jazz, Mr Bongo etc featuring obscure and rare US funk, jazz, soul etc. These were very valuable to young regional DJs like myself who at the time didn't have access to the knowledge that is so easily accessible online now or could visit the trailblazing acid jazz nights in the bigger cities that often. They were a great way to discover music and artists that you would not come across any other way, often a plain sleeve with a small sticker saying something like 'Bustin' Out' and a simple tracklist. It was on one of these bootlegs - 'Uptight And Outasight!' - in 1992 that I first heard Norman Connors' 'Chuka', a track so monumentally good and that confirmed ones decision to follow this path in music. You know how it is when you hear something for the first time, and how it causes explosions in your mind and hairs to stand on end, this was one of those for me. Launching with a tough bassline and percussion, it heads ever upwards with horn riffs until it drops into a furious groove with sax solos, electric piano solos and psychedelic bass, a dancefloor monster indeed. Armed with the knowledge of its existence, it wasn't long before I'd tracked down the OG LP it came from - Slewfoot - and therein discovered even more gems.
Kicking off with the super funky 'Slewfoot' title track, followed by the equally funky and percussive 'Back on The Street', the aforementioned monster 'Chuka' and finishing with the jazz-soaked Dingwalls classic 'Mother Of The Future', these 4 cuts from the excellent LP perfectly show drummer Norman Connors' vision. Somewhat difficult to categorize as it takes in elements of soul, jazz, funk, rock and beyond, it's one of those 70's albums that is basically about music and a distinct genre isn't required. Featuring a spectacular array of musicians including Jean Carn, Ron Carter, Dom Um Romao, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson and Hubert Laws amongst others, it's a supergroup where the only outcome is bound to be good.
So I for one am overjoyed to have these tracks pressed to 45s, beautifully envisioned and packaged by Dynamite Cuts and adds to their ever building collection of killer reissues on 7".