This highly recommended two-fer includes drummer Norman Connors' earliest and most rewarding dates as a leader. Recorded with a who's who of fusion titans including trumpeter Eddie Henderson, bassist Stanley Clarke, and keyboardist Herbie Hancock, Dance of Magic channels the lessons drummer Norman Connors learned in the employ of Pharoah Sanders, Sam Rivers, and Sun Ra, marshaling Latin rhythms, electronic textures, and cosmic mysticism to create nondenominational yet deeply spiritual funk-jazz. The sprawling 21-minute title cut spans the entirety of the record's first half, capturing a monumental jam session that explores the outer edges of free improvisation but never steps past the point of no return. Connors' furious drumming is like a trail of bread crumbs that leads his collaborators back home. The remaining three tracks are smaller in scale but no less epic in scope, culminating with the blistering "Give the Drummer Some." The follow-up, Dark of Light, returns most of the same personnel but pushes further into the unknown, pursuing even more abstract ideas and darker impulses to create music as free yet unified as a flock of birds in flight.