Nothin' But Love

by: Keni Burke

A master of realmodern soul, music vet Keni Burke (the Five Stairsteps, "Risin' to the Top,") breaks an almost two-decade hiatus with this charming album for U.K. label Expansion Records (Sony/3MW).The set cleverly combines '90s music technology with classic songwriting. "Indigenous Love," which has a bassline similar to "Risin' to the Top," took off with the steppers set. It's also represented with an instrumental reprise. Other highlights are the sweet slow jam "This Dedication," the Philly soul-flavored "I Get Off on You," and "Tell Me You Want My Love." The mid-tempo midnight groover "Give Me a Chance" has a sly, sensuous bassline. The earnest ballad "I Can Give You Plenty Love" says "tell me what you want and I'll come running." A fine set, yet fans of the one-time A-list session bassist may be taken aback from the absence of the instrument. Those looking for a wide showcase for Burke's "badd" bass-playing skills should check out his earlier efforts: Keni Burke, You're the Best, and Changes, as well as his sides with Bill Withers, D.J. Rogers, Narada Michael Walden, and Billy Preston, among many others. ~ Ed Hogan

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