First Listen! Cool Million feat. Porter Carroll, Jr. & Matic – Oh! (Dimitri From Paris US Remix) (Sedsoul)
Oh!… A drummer and a founding member of Atlantic Starr with whom he stayed until the release of their 1983 ‘Yours Forever’ album, Porter Carroll, Jr., also happened to be a singer. We catch him along with Frank Ryle and Rob Hardt aka Cool Million on the firing ‘Oh!’. The latter bringin’ us back to the souvenir of that synth-driven sound that was dominating in the post Disco scene in the first half of the 80’s. And, in the meantime, the one of groups like The Jammers, D-Train and Trilark. Not to mention the late Curtis Hairston (vocally speaking) on his memorable ‘I want You (All Tonite)’. A feeling which Dimitri from Paris perfectly recaptured on his remixing work…
Laidback for sure, although still sounding so fresh and uplifting. Oh!
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– “Taking Soul back to the future” is the motto of Cool Million…
Over the past years, European boogiemeisters Cool Million have made themselves quite a reputation. Delivering consistently remarkable R&B gems for the dance floor featuring cream-of-the-crop vocalists in fresh melodic settings.
The German-Danish production duo has reminded listeners around the world that even in a marketplace saturated by artificially grown hits, it’s still possible to create authentic and meaningful recordings that make bodies move.
These guys Know about Soul music. They are not following trends, jumping on bandwagons or even trying to create a trend.
Cool Million are creating real music with real feeling and doing so with all the knowledge, love and respect for what we can call the groove…
No need havin’ a deep look at the history of Atlantic Starr to understand it has been a long and winding road. And this, most likely due to the unceasing changes in terms of line ups, beginning with their lead singers.
Atlantic Starr saw the light by the second half of the seventies in Greenburgh, NY. Comprising drummer Porter Carroll Jr., bassist Clifford Archer, percussionist and flutist Joseph Phillips. But also the Lewis brothers. In other words, David (vocals/guitar), Wayne (keyboards and vocals) and Jonathan (percussion and trombone). Not to mention trumpeter Duke Jones and guitarist Sheldon Tucker who both left the band before their first recording. The band’s membership stabilizing itself around Archer, Carroll, Phillips and the Lewis brothers. This in addition to lead singer Sharon Bryant (whom Barbara Weathers eventually replaced), trumpeter William Sudderth III, and saxophonist Damon Rentie (who was later replaced by Koran Daniels).
It’s interesting to know that Atlantic Starr first released 2 albums as Newban. This back in 1977 on Guinness Records, meanwhile displaying an obvious penchant for Jazz/Funk vibes. They eventually changed their name upon A&M Records executive Herb Alpert‘s request when signing on his label. Their liaison lasted during 7 years which saw them releasing 6 albums.
Peaking at #2 in the US R&B charts, the groovy ‘Circles’ stood as their biggest success for quite some time. But it would be nothing as compared to the one they managed to get from ballads. Beginning with ‘Always’ which got them to top the Pop charts, but also ‘Secret Lovers’ and ‘Masterpiece’ to a lesser extend. Meanwhile, one could definitely feel the sophistication of their compositions when flirting with R&B, Soul and Funk vibes. This with absolute gems such as ‘Silver Shadow’ and ‘Let The Sun In’ athough they would have deserved a greater recognition at the end.
Atlantic Starr are still in activity nowadays with their last album to date – ‘Metamorphosis’ – released back in 2017.
Sharon Bryant left the group back in 1984 to pursue a solo career. Eventually releasing a solo album – ‘Here I Am’ – back in 1989 on Polydor. She’s also remembered for a feature along with Juliet Roberts and James ‘D-Train’ Williams on David Morales Presents The Face‘s ‘Needin’ U II’…
After leaving Atlantic Starr, original drummer and founding band member Porter Carroll, Jr. released ‘Porter Carroll II’ in 1986. An album that featured contributions from luminaries such as Marcus Miller and David Sanborn. But also former Atlantic Starr bandmate Sharon Bryant.
He has continued to do session work since that time. Besides, one could hear him playing percussion in Daryl Hall‘s live band for some time. But also joinin’ forces with Cool Million on the laidback synth led ‘Oh!’ as remixed by Dimitri from Paris. A cut we welcomed as our Single Of The Week back in February 2016.