Records: Kwesi Testimony (Sony Soho Square/Intonational 487994 2)

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Typical - you wait all year for new soul talent, then two come along at once. Another Brit-soul boy - albeit a transplanted Texan - making his debut, Kwesi Bonsu (Kwesi name, Kwesi guy) is rather more rootsy than Conner Reeves, though steeped in much the same early-Seventies soul influences. He's good, too: parts of Testimony sound like Al Green doing Curtis Mayfield, than which it doesn't get much better, really.

Where Reeves focuses primarily on songs, Kwesi's material grows more organically from grooves, with former Loose End Carl McIntosh and one- time Young Disciple Femi offering expert assistance. The results are sleekly impressive: "Riot in Brixton" captures the dark, fetid atmosphere of blaxploitation-era political soul perfectly, and there's a blue streak running through tracks such as "Lovely" and "Blues Man" that gives Kwesi's soul a tough but flexible undercarriage. Recommended.

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