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Paul Jackson - Black Octopus
Jackson is most famous for being a founding member of the Headhunters, the band that revolutionized funk and jazz with Herbie Hancock.   Octopus is the solo album that Jackson recorded back in 1978, but it is only now being released in the US.  And make no mistake about it, the album is definitely a period piece.  The diverse stylings borrow from disco, funk and abstract jazz in a form that could only be described as late-period fusion.

The two-part opening track is a microcosm of Jackson's style, going from heady jazz to heavyweight funk in a matter of seconds. Capable assistance is provided by Bennie Maupin, Ray Obiedo and Alphonze Mouzon on loan from Hancock, plus Mr. Hands  himself, with Webster Lewis shadowing Herbie on keyboards.

Jackson previewed his vocal abilities on "God Made Me Funky" and indulges himself throughout this set, on the disco-tinged "Burning In The Heat of Your Love," and "Eight Ways of Love."  But the instrumental selections, such as "Funk Times Three," are where Jackson shines brighest.

Octopus comes with four bonus tracks not available on the original album.  Of these songs, "A Little Love'll Help" is the most pleasing.

If you're looking for some lost deep jazz-funk sounds, you should go and let the Octopus grab you.

Copyright 2001 B.Graff.  All rights reserved.

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Released 2001on Platform 

Selected Tracks:

A Little Love'll Help
Burning In the Heat of Your Love
Funk Times Three
Bow Tie Dress

 

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