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Jim Norman is quite literally a one–man band. Not only did he produce, edit, mix and co–master Visitor in Time, he also arranged the music and, apparently, performs it as well (digitally, I assume), as no other musicians are listed. And from the abstruse notions embodied in the liner notes, I’d wager he wrote them too. What Norman has produced is a series of ethereal, synth– and string–laden tone poems that, laid end to end, sound more like a science–fiction movie soundtrack than anything related to Jazz as we know it ( 2001 revisited?). Several of the song titles (“Solar Wind,” “Interstellar,” “Midnight on Phobos”) accentuate Norman’s universal point of view. As an exercise in showing the immense variations in sound that can be produced electronically, the album is moderately absorbing, and should appeal to “sound buffs” on that level. As anything else (aside from aural wallpaper), it rather quickly grows tedious if not mind–numbing. That’s not to say there aren’t moments of beauty or insight; one simply has to persevere to separate them from the rest of the electronically inspired “space debris.” I’ve heard worse music played by orchestras composed of real human beings, but beyond that, there isn’t much one can say about Visitor in Time that would convey even the merest insinuation of an endorsement.
Track listing: Many a Time; Anthem; The Adytum; Imp’s Night Out; Tibet; Simple Simon and The Piper Man; Solar Wind; Interstellar; Warrior; Sandman; Michael Valentine Smith; Midnight on Phobos; Time Spirits (78:01).
Jim Norman, electronics.
Contact: Thrum Records, 347 W. 46th St., Suite 2, New York, NY 10036 (phone 212