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Norma Jean Bell

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Prior to becoming a valued fixture of the Detroit house scene, singer/saxophonist/percussionist/producer Norma Jean Bell earned her stripes as a hired gun for artists like Frank Zappa, Tommy Bolin, Narada Michael Walden, and Parliament. In the mid-'90s, Bell became a close associate of Kenny Dixon Jr. (Moodymann) and the two began working together on a fair portion of each other's output (Dixon began producing the bulk of Bell's tracks, while Bell provided sax and vocals on a number of Dixon's songs). Bell started her own label, Pandamonium, in 1996, but she also hooked up with Laurent Garnier's France-based F Communications label, which issued her first and most popular 12" (I'm the Baddest Bitch) that same year. Pandamonium got off the ground in short time, issuing material from Bell, Dewayne Davis, Sharon Jones, and Billy Lo. By the end of 1999, Bell had eight of her own 12" releases that ranged from swooning disco to thick funk. Some of the tracks from those releases were selected for Come Into My Room, a CD compilation released in 2001 by the U.K.-based Peacefrog imprint. ~ Andy Kellman

Years Active:

'70s, '80s, '90s, '00s