The Baker Brothers Time To Testify

The Baker BrothersTime To Testify
The Baker Brothers know how to kick off a record with a bang. Their seventh full-length offering opens with not one but three monsters: gritty, rocked-up funk barnstormer "Make Your Move," the infectious "Painting Pictures," which could have been an airier outtake from Steely Dan's The Royal Scam, and the medium paced Southern soul mood of "Once I Had Friend." The consistency isn't maintained throughout the entirety of Time To Testify, but the Bournemouth, UK-based sextet know more than a thing or two about crafting stellar and precise funk groovers. Especially noteworthy are the crystal clear saxophone and trumpet of Paul Young and Scott Baylis, and the tight-on-the-pulse drumming of Rich Baker. Detours into pop and acid jazz territory, like positive thinking track "Patience" and the spacey synth touches of "The Bottom Rung," are less successful since vocalist Geoff Lai could use a bit less polish and a touch more dirt. But it closes strongly with the two minutes and change instrumental thump of "Genki Strut." (Record Kicks)