Feb 27, 2016

RhoDeo 1608 Grooves

Hello, as Trumps marches on, the contours of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue becomes more visible, the republican competition fall unmourned to the wayside and the democrats pull out all the stops to block the advancement of the non establishment candidate (Sanders). Hilary stands no chance against Trump he will paint her in the corner where she belongs, the 1%.

Today's artists are .an American jazz, R&B, soul, funk and disco group, originally formed in 1964 as the Jazziacs based in Jersey City, New Jersey. They went through several musical phases during their recording career, starting out with a purist jazz sound, then funk and R&B, progressing to a smooth pop-funk ensemble, and in the post-millennium creating music with a modern, electro-pop sound. They have sold over 70 million albums worldwide  ... N'joy

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Formed as a jazz ensemble in the mid-'60s, Kool & the Gang became one of the most inspired and influential funk units during the '70s, and one of the most popular R&B groups of the '80s after their breakout hit "Celebration" in 1979. Just as funky as James Brown or Parliament (and sampled almost as frequently), Kool & the Gang relied on their jazz backgrounds and long friendship to form a tightly knit group with the interplay and improvisation of a jazz outfit, plus the energy and spark of a band with equal ties to soul, R&B, and funk.

Robert "Kool" Bell and his brother Ronald (or Khalis Bayyan) grew up in Jersey City, NJ, and picked up the music bug from their father. A professional boxer, he was also a serious jazz lover and a close friend of Thelonious Monk. With Robert on bass and Ronald picking up an array of horns, the duo formed the Jazziacs in 1964 with several neighborhood friends: trombone player Clifford Adams, guitarists Charles Smith and Woody Sparrow, trumpeter Robert "Spike" Michens, alto saxophonist Dennis Thomas, keyboard player Ricky West, and drummer Funky George Brown (all of whom, except Michens and West, still remained in the group more than 30 years later).

The Bell brothers' father Bobby and uncle Tommy were boxers. They moved to New York to train and lived in the same apartment building as Thelonious Monk who became Robert's godfather when he was born. Miles Davis would drop by because he wanted to be a boxer.[5] They played occasionally with McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders and Leon Thomas.

The growing earthiness of soul inspired the Jazziacs to temper their jazz sensibilities with rhythms more akin to R&B, and the newly renamed Soul Town Band began playing clubs in Greenwich Village. After a mix-up with a club owner resulted in the group being billed Kool & the Flames, they moderated the title to Kool & the Gang and found a leg up with the tiny De-Lite Records. Three singles from their self-titled debut album hit the pop charts, and although the position wasn't incredibly high, Kool & the Gang became a quick success on the R&B charts. Always a staple of their appeal, the group's live act was documented on two 1971 LPs, Live at the Sex Machine and Live at P.J.'s, including left-field covers of "Walk On By" and "Wichita Lineman" (as well as the not so unusual "I Want to Take You Higher").

Studio albums followed in 1972 and 1973, but it was with Kool & the Gang's sixth LP, Wild and Peaceful, that they hit the big time. "Funky Stuff" became their first Top 40 hit at the end of 1973. Then both "Jungle Boogie" and "Hollywood Swinging" reached the pop Top Ten. During the next four years, however, Kool & the Gang could only manage an occasional Top 40 hit ("Higher Plane," "Spirit of the Boogie"), and though they did win a Grammy award for "Open Sesame" (from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack), the rise of disco -- a movement centered around producers and vocalists, in direct contrast to the group's focus on instrumentalists -- had appeared to end their popularity.

Then, in 1979, the group added two new vocalists, Earl Toon, Jr. and, more importantly, James "J.T." Taylor, a former Jersey nightclub singer. Kool & the Gang also began working with jazz fusion arranger Eumir Deodato, who produced their records from 1979 to 1982. The first such album, Ladies Night, was their biggest hit yet, the first of three consecutive platinum albums, with the Top Ten singles "Too Hot" and the title track. Celebrate!, released in 1980, spawned Kool & the Gang's only number one hit, "Celebration," an anthem favored by innumerable wedding receptions since. With Deodato, the group produced several more hits, including the singles "Take My Heart (You Can Have It if You Want It)," "Get Down on It," and "Big Fun," and the albums Something Special in 1981 and As One a year later. After Deodato left the fold in late 1982, Kool & the Gang proved their success wasn't solely due to him; they had two immense hits during 1984-1985 ("Joanna" and "Cherish"), as well as two more Top Tens, "Misled" and "Fresh." The group's string of seven gold or platinum records continued until 1986's Forever, after which James "J.T." Taylor amicably left the group for a solo career.

Although Taylor did reasonably well with his solo recordings (many of which were produced by Ronald Bell), Kool & the Gang quickly sank without him. They replaced Taylor with three vocalists, Skip Martin (formerly of the Dazz Band), Odeen Mays, and Gary Brown, but failed to chart their albums Sweat (1989) and Unite (1993). Taylor finally returned to the group in 1995 for the release of a new album, State of Affairs. They continued well throughout the 2000s, releasing 2001's Gangland, 2004's The Hits: Reloaded, and 2007's Still Kool (recorded after the 2006 death of co-founder Charles Smith). They often collaborated with new and well-known younger talent.

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Kool & the Gang's funky debut was an unexpected hit, with a first single (self-titled) climbing both the pop and R&B charts. Subsequent singles -- "The Gang's Back Again," "Let the Music Take Your Mind," and "Funky Man," -- followed the first into the charts, and there were plenty of other standout tracks: "Raw Hamburger," "Chocolate Buttermilk," and "Kool's Back Again." Though barely over a half an hour long, Kool and the Gang is a blast of a record containing strong elements that would become the band's trademarks: smooth melodies, suave rhythms, and brassy horns. This is one of Kool & the Gang's jazzier albums and a strong debut worth checking out, though less accessible than any of their later pop recordings.

Kool & The Gang - Kool & The Gang  (flac 204mb)

01 Kool & The Gang 2:57
02 Breeze & Soul 5:29
03 Chocolate Buttermilk 2:14
04 Sea Of Tranquility 3:33
05 Give It Up 3:40
06 Since I Lost My Baby 2:07
07 Kool's Back Again 2:53
08 The Gang's Back Again 2:44
09 Raw Hamburger 3:37
10 Let The Music Take Your Mind 2:58

Kool & The Gang - Kool & The Gang   (ogg 84mb)

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Kool & the Gang's fourth album -- but only their second studio record -- was just as strong and joyous as its live predecessors, though it featured a few more vocals and emphasized strong musicianship over hard grooves. (Of course, the band always did pretty well at both.) The title track and "Love the Life You Live" were two more great party jams to add to their repertoire, despite the growing similarity of Robert "Kool" Bell's basslines. The two-part "Electric Frog" was a squelchy instrumental spotlighting an Arp synthesizer and some great ensemble playing on the chorus, while the band reserved a great feature for trumpeter Robert "Spike" Mickens on "Blowin' with the Wind." "Love the Life You Live" was the most fully realized early Kool & the Gang jam, and the one that most looks forward to their parade of hits to come ("Funky Stuff," "Hollywood Swinging"). Ending the album with a smile (if not style) was "Funky Granny," a lightweight but hilarious sequel to their 1970 hit "Funky Man."

Kool & The Gang - Music Is The Message  (flac  204mb)

01 Music Is The Message 5:18
02 Electric Frog (Part 1) 3:43
03 Electric Frog (Part 2) 3:02
04 Soul Vibrations 4:39
05 Love The Life You Live (Parts 1 & 2) 5:40
06 Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart) 3:26
07 Blowin' With The Wind 2:31
08 Funky Granny 5:55

Kool & The Gang - Music Is The Message   (ogg 98mb)

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Good Times was a bit spotty compared to Music Is the Message, compromising Kool & the Gang's legendary funk instincts for a variety of digressions that don't turn out the way they should. There's much more good than bad though, beginning with the title track, a school's-out jam just in time for summer. "Making Merry Music" is in a similar mold and just as good, while the group leaps into wild, unhinged, horn-driven funk for "Rated X" and "Country Junky." The songs that make it less interesting are the maudlin ballad "Wild Is Love," a salute by music director and tenor Khalis Bayyan to one of his influences with "I Remember John W. Coltrane," and the meandering "North, South, East, West." The closer, "Father, Father," is a solid attempt at recording social-message soul along the lines of Curtis Mayfield, but for much of the time, Good Times sacrifices the group's hallmarks (deep-pocket grooves and fast, intricate ensemble playing) on the altar of artistic experimentation.

Kool & The Gang - Good Times  (flac 201mb)

01 Good Times 4:16
02 Country Junky 2:55
03 Wild Is Love 3:24
04 North, East, South, West 3:38
05 Making Merry Music 3:04
06 I Remember John W. Coltrane 4:02
07 Rated X 4:02
08 Father, Father 5:37

Kool & The Gang - Good Times (ogg  81mb)

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Prior to James "JT" Taylor adding pop flavor vocals, which help garner a handful of top selling albums, this was Kool & the Gang's most successful album, spawning three bonafide R&B hits. Produced by Robert Bell, and featuring Donal Boyce's incredulous vocals, these songs have held up well. The fast, chugging "Jungle Boogie" was a club favorite, while "Funky Stuff," with its "whoa whoa whoa" hook, was slower and spacier than "Jungle Boogie." The band formerly known as the Jazziacs got their first R&B number one with "Hollywood Swinging," a slightly faster than mid-tempo song with whistles, festive ambiance and lead vocals by keyboardist Ricky West. All three hits were inspired by Manu Dibango's "Soul Makossa," and were recorded in one night at a studio in midtown Manhattan. The title cut flash backs to their prerecording jazz days, when they dazzled New Jerseyites with their playing skills.

Kool & The Gang - Wild & Peaceful  (flac 252mb)

01 Funky Stuff 3:00
02 More Funky Stuff 2:50
03 Jungle Boogie 3:03
04 Heaven At Once 5:01
05 Hollywood Swinging 4:36
06 This Is You, This Is Me 5:23
07 Life Is What You Make It 3:53
08 Wild And Peaceful 9:26

Kool & The Gang - Wild & Peaceful (ogg  100mb)

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rho!


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