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The smoothest of sounds

Passion
By Norman Connors

Capitol Records: 1988

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This review first appeared in the August 12, 1988 issue of the San Diego Evening Tribune.

Norman Connors' music is smooth, R&B-based easy listening that escapes its own imploding Muzak tendencies through sheer talent.

The music itself takes no chances; the drummer-arranger plays it safe, right down the middle of the road.

But with such talent as he has gathered, it would be nearly impossible to produce a bad album. Vocalist Spencer Harrison has a voice as rich as milk chocolate, while female singer Gabrielle Goodman has a perky sound that could have come from a sealed vault at Atlantic Records.

"Passion" is full of quietly romantic mood music; Connors' arrangements are ever so smooth, the orchestration is rich and the production wrinkle-free. Freddie Hubbard's guest solo on trumpet on "Samba for Maria" is a tasteful, nearly perfect way to close out Connors' latest effort.