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My Heart and Soul

Michael Paulo

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Album Review

Picture veteran saxman Michael Paulo on a mythical dancefloor, torn between urges to cut loose under the flashing lights and the simple desire to sway while holding his partner close, and the musical imagery of My Heart and Soul comes clear. The great charm of his career has been an uncanny ability to reconcile heart and feet and mix seemingly dichotomous moods to create the "One Passion" promised by the title of his first disc. Here, half the time, he's "Bumpin'" up the funk with bassist Freddie Washington, teasing with a wild soprano excursion, or drawing us into hip-hop land. Then, just as we're joining the party, he tells us the club's closing and offers one last slow dance for the road. David Benoit orchestrates the title track, a soulful centerpiece reminiscent of Paulo's 1989 cover of "Last Tango in Paris." Paulo's love for pop classics finds him covering Stevie Wonder, Nat King Cole, and Earth, Wind & Fire. Artsy production touches, from a cool closing rap on "That's the Way of the World" to a brief June Kuramoto koto interlude, add to the rhythmically diverse atmosphere.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Michael Paulo is a fine saxophonist who has thus far mostly played in the pop/jazz crossover field. Paulo grew up in a musical family (his father was a pianist and his mother a singer) but did not take up the saxophone until he was 15. He developed quickly and before he left high school was playing gigs around Hawaii. After graduation, Paulo became a member of the Hawaiian pop/rock band Kalapana (1975-79), recording four albums with the group. He also recorded with Herbie Hancock during this period....
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My Heart and Soul, Michael Paulo
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