Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths. The ‘baddest bitch in the room‘ Norma Jean Bell has played quite an observable role in the Detroit music scene, but as low-key as she is it almost seems like she’s indeed a bit of a myth. Not only a momentous vocalist, but also an excellent saxophonist and pianist at young age, Bell was in Frank Zappa’s touring band for a brief period of time before she settled down in Detroit in the nineties, and got involved in the dance spectrum of music to quickly become a female house vanguard. She collaborated with exemplars like Theo Parrish, Kenny Dixon and Carl Craig to create some of the most prolific and simmering house tracks around. Her full length entitled “Come Into My Room” came out on F Communications a few years ago: one fine hour of deep house grooves, a little bit of jazz and a whole lot of Moodymann. And yet, if it weren’t for this association with the legendary producer, she would probably be consigned to oblivion here and now. People say that soulful music might be timeless but limited vinyl presses are definitely ephemeral, and it would be a shame to forget about her divine back catalogue which consists of about fifteen twelves, most of them released through her own little imprint Pandamonium. Lest we forget these camouflaged gems, the first One On One is her second last single which saw the light about ten years ago – unusually dark and garage-y compared to the rest of her work, nevertheless just as exceptional. Long live Bell!
Stream: [wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Fun_Coming_on__Full_vocal_.mp3″ text=”Norma Jean Bell – Fun Coming On (Full Vocal Mix)” dl=”0″]