Linton Kwesi Johnson

Live in Paris

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Only his second live album in 25 years, Live in Paris finds Linton Kwesi Johnson with his longtime backing group, the Dennis Bovell Dub Band. Johnson's pioneering dub poetry style, part reggae prophet and part political revolutionary, took the toasting DJ form and reggae as a whole into a completely new direction. Live in Paris exudes the same sober confidence as his debut, Dread Beat an' Blood. Bovell and LKJ are longtime collaborators, and the Dub Band provide a perfect rootsy backing, brighter than the sometimes grim, subterranean sound of LKJ's studio discs but still devastating, as they react to and anticipate the poet's highly dramatic delivery, highlighted by the double keyboards of Nick Straker and Fabio Marchiori and the violin of Johnny T. Live in Paris rolls through the fiery polemics of "Liesense Fi Kill," "Dread Beat an' Blood," and "Tings an' Times" with occasional stately explanation from the man himself further blurring the line between reggae concert and book reading. A solid release from a seminal artist.

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