Michael Paulo

Fusebox

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Michael Paulo spent six years on the road with Al Jarreau honing his funky sax sense, so it's no surprise that as a solo artist, he represented the finest and most groove-oriented of the instrument's many up-and-comers of early smooth jazz. His MCA debut One Passion was one of the previous year's most lively and inspiring jazz/funk releases, and his growth continued admirably on his GRP debut. With the exception of a somewhat longwinded, trumpet-laced Miles tribute and a superfluous attempt to join the rap generation, the tracks here are all at once romantic, hard hitting, and emotional, showing Paulo's desire to create an original voice with his horn. A gospel reading of Leo Sayer's "When I Need You" shows a great deal of imagination as well, although tune for tune, One Passion packs the greater wallop.

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