Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Pocket Battery: Connors' Honors


Norman Connors Septet - Revelation

I'm popping this very brief post up to begin March, and then I am going to go dark for a minute to redesign all of this page, which now has a merchandise line, if you can believe that. But more on that at the bottom, after the music, which is always the point.

Yes, the music. For we have a birthday today, of someone who maybe has flown beneath the radar for a long time, yet who manifestly deserves mention and illustration.

So before I reinvent the page graphically, erase all the old, dead links and place the main archive link in each post, I started to look at the March b'days and the first one that popped up was this guy.

As I cracked open my 18TB drive to look, I loudly exclaimed "Oh, come on! There can't be any Norman Connors bootl....."

This is what happens when you have so much music. You forget about some of the outliers, where the person has only one show that circulates.

There was just one catch: the thing was broadcast in 320k/48 mp3 audio -- like so many modern digital broadcasts, there is lossy compression in lieu of that of the FM variety, but the 48k designation can mean things can go over the typical 15kHz FM cutoff for broadcast compression anyway and can often resemble a preFM source -- and I only had it in that lossy form, as the person who had captured it originally had elected to post it like that.

Then I discovered that another person had yakked it off the broadcast when it originally aired, but had chosen to share it completely losslessly in its original 320k/48 iteration, as FLAC files.

It was an old, dead seed from 2019, but someone on that tracker was kind enough to immediately respond to my begging for a seeder for it so things worked out... as it turns out this is one of those that goes all the way to 20kHz and may as well be preFM in origin.

So let's honor Connors with this utterly exquisite 45 minute set from the Berliner Jazztage way back when, when our hero -- who is 76 today -- was just starting to really make his reputation as one of the funkiest drummers of our epoch.

This is quite a band, with (among others) Carter Jefferson blowing saxes, trumpet deity Shunzo Ohno doubling on melodica (!), and the vocal stylings of the immortal Jean Carn in her first-ever European appearance.

Norman Connors Septet
Berliner Jazztage
Berlin, Germany

01 Bubbles
02 Mother of the Future
03 Revelation
04 Kumekucha
05 FM outro by Ulf Drechsel

Total time: 43:59

Norman Connors - drums
Shunzo Ohno - trumpet & melodica
Carter Randolph Jefferson - saxophones
Elmer Hubbard Gibson - electric piano
Larry Trent McRae - bass
Neil Clarke - percussion
Jean Carn - vocals

Lewojazz digital capture of a 2018 "Kulturradio" RBB 320/48k rebroadcast, recorded by him in 16/44 CD Audio
spectral analysis goes all the way to 20kHz, so this is almost equivalent to a preFM source
slightly edited and retracked by EN, February 2023
287 MB FLAC/direct link

So that will be it from me until we get this page all straightened out and looking good.... hopefully it won't take long. And do visit the merch outpost we have inaugurated for it, which can be found right here!!

And while you await my return, sweating anticipatorily at your terminal, please enjoy this magnificent Jazztage performance of the tremendous Norman Connors, born this day in 1947 and still hitting!--J.