Paul Jackson on bass, vocals and keyboards featuring various artists including Tony Adamo on vocals, James Levi on drums
As a member of the "Headhunters," Paul Jackson was instrumental in the development of Jazz-fusion along with bandmate, Herbie Hancock. This CD pushes the envelope even further with a foray into hard core funk.
The CD leads off with a seven second "Warning" ("boys, I'm gone, please don't try this at home") which then segues into the title cut of "Funk On A Stick" with Jackson driving the melody on bass behind his vocals and a rap lyric by Jorge Guerrero. "Hey Lou" features suave vocalize by Tony Adamo that sets the pattern for this hip tune that has Ernie Watts making a musical statement in the background on saxophone. "Funky Fingers" highlights percussion work by Bill Summers and Mike Clark and Herbie Hancock on keyboards. The funky "Everything You Got" has a hard-driving rhythm with engaging vocals by Paula Johnson punctuated by an experimental bass solo by Jackson. "In God We Funk" expresses the soul of protest with its intense fusion groove and rap vocals. The pace slows down on "Prelude To Pain" with Patrick Brady doing a lovely melodic guitar introduction to the tune "Pain" spotlighting Jackson's vocals filled with tenderness. The final cut is an instrumental reprise of "Funk On A Stick."
This CD is a cornucopia of rhythmically interesting music. Jazz purists may cringe but the open-eared will find much to savor in this effort that is splendidly presented and well worth a listen.
by Dorothy L. Hill
(Available at Jazz Now Direct CD Store)