Michael Paulo

One Passion

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It seems an unwritten rule that behind any great jazz vocalist play some exceptional future instrumental stars. So it's no surprise that backing the great Al Jarreau for many years was the wonderful saxwork of the very expressive, ultra passionate Michael Paulo. Paulo's extremely accessible, immediately likable debut combines spirited covers of Stevie Wonder's "That Girl," Steely Dan's "Home at Last," and Gato Barbieri's brooding "Last Tango in Paris," with tasty Sanborn influences on the funky pop-R&B of the catchy "As the Crow Flies" and "Little Miss Missy" (both co-written with keyboardist/producer Robert Kraft). He takes a soulful turn on the Gerald Albright co-composition "Fundamental Thing" and works in some flute interludes on the romantic title cut. Jarreau helps out with some vocal flute on "Tango," and "If You Ever Change Your Mind" is a very pop chart oriented tune that features vocals by newcomer N'Dea Davenport (who later sang with Brand New Heavies). Granted, Paulo is not breaking any ground here that other contemporary saxmen have not tread upon. But if you're into some fun, perky, and even danceable (slow and fast) contemporary music, Paulo is definitely a talent to keep your eye on.

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