Monday, September 25, 2017

Kool & The Gang – Too Hot (De-Lite Records)

Classics: Kool & The Gang – Too Hot (De-Lite Records)

From the 1979 ‘Ladies Knight’ LP. An album which marked a watershed on Kool & The Gang‘s recording career. The group turning into a Disco/Funk hit machine with the arrivals of both lead singer James ‘J.T.’ Taylor and producer Eumir Deodato.

Kool & The Gang keeping on their jazzy roots though on this cool jam. Taylor‘s soothing performance along with Ronald Bell‘s outstanding sax part adding much to the whole. Somehow reminding of Wilton Felder) if not Grover Washington, Jr.
‘Too Hot’, just as it says!

NB: Kinda weird though to notice this gem only got a 7 inch single release Stateside. Meanwhile France and UK would put out an Extended version…

In 1964, 13 year-old Robert ‘Kool’ Bell, his brother (Ronald) and 5 high school friends formed an instrumental band called The Jazziacs. They changed their name to Kool & The Flames 4 years later, then to Kool & The Gang in 1969 (to avoid confusion with James Brown‘s Famous Flames). They got signed on Gene Redd‘s newly launched De-Lite Records label during the same year.

Their career, just like like Earth, Wind & Fire, can be split into 2 periods. The first (1973 – 1978) establishing them on the burgeoing Funk scene with a twist of Jazz, blending earthy brass, funky bass guitar and chanted vocals. A period which they paved with classics such as ‘Summer Madness’, ‘Jungle Boogie’ and ‘Open Sesame’.
The second one seeing them makin’ a clear-cut transition into Dance/Soul Pop territories. As a result, they would turn themselves into an impressive hit machine, reaching their peak during the first half of the 80’s. Classics such as ‘Ladies Night’, ‘Celebration’ and ‘Big Fun’ among others summarizing their leadership at the time…

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