Jimmy Norman: Little Pieces (Wildflower)

 |   |  1 min read

Jimmy Norman: Little Pieces
Jimmy Norman: Little Pieces (Wildflower)

Quite why and how this 2004 album has turned up only now is a mystery to me, but here it. Better late than . . .

This old journeyman r'n'b singer co-wrote eight songs with Bob Marley in early '68 (a few appear on the Soul Almighty collection) and Marley recorded a number of his originals, and Norman apparently wrote some lyrics for the Irma Thomas/Rolling Stones hit Time is On My Side (which is always only credited to Jerry Ragavoy).

A young Jimi Hendrix jammed with him in New York clubs -- but mostly Norman lead a version of the Coasters for a few decades.

All that aside, he has an aged voice which hints at the Sam Cooke era and the quiver and fragility in it becomes more appealing over repeat listens. It's a tightrope walk to the melody.

The story behind this album is that when people were cleaning out his untidy apartment a few years back they came on a box of old lyrics from the 60s and 70s and encouraged Norman to record them, which he did -- in his apartment.

With backing by a studio band of friends and admirers added, these are period pieces in a way, but that actually lends them even more charm -- and to hear an old man singing of love takes the lyrics out of their post-teen dimension and into some other place.

Norman may not quite be the great lost artist that his record company and PR people would have you believe, but he is certainly someone who is a bridge back to another time, and this album stands on its own merits even without the interesting backstory.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R, Deluxe Edition (Universal)

Queens of the Stone Age: Rated R, Deluxe Edition (Universal)

This, the second album by QOTSA and their first on a major label, was their breakthrough exactly a deacde ago and had critics digging in their superlatives bag. Oddly enough though, it wasn't... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Juju: In Trance (Real World)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Juju: In Trance (Real World)

That alt.world between late 60s psychedelic blues-rock, frantic village folk, and fiery world music is a strange place. It's where LedZepp, speedmetal-folk, Afro-blues, the Mississippi Delta... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Yoko Ono: Plastic Ono Band (1971)

Yoko Ono: Plastic Ono Band (1971)

Elsewhere has been of the unwavering opinion, ever since this album was released, that is one of the great avant-garde rock'n'roll albums. That's not an opinion widely shared and indeed from... > Read more

HATE MAIL RECEIVED, ACKNOWLEDGED AND IGNORED: And The Horse You Rode Into Town On

HATE MAIL RECEIVED, ACKNOWLEDGED AND IGNORED: And The Horse You Rode Into Town On

It has been some time since I had hate mail, and while I can't say I miss it I always used to read the letters with interest and thought about what the people had to say. Then I chucked them away.... > Read more