Kool & The Gang return with
By TODD MARTENS
LOS ANGELES - R&B veterans Kool & the Gang will on Aug. 22 release their 23rd
album, ``Kool & the Gang Presents Gangland.'' The KFTA album will be the first since
the group's long-time lead singer JT Taylor departed for the second time in 1999. To
compensate for the loss, Gang leader Kool (real name: Robert Bell) says the act has turned
back the clock to the early '70s, specifically the De Lite album ``Wild and Peaceful,''
which spawned such hits as ``Jungle Boogie'' and ``Hollywood Swinging.''
``Since Taylor left, we've gone back to more of a '70s edge,'' says Kool. ``The funky
stuff days. Then, of course, we're introducing a bunch of new artists to keep it fresh, so
we're not just doing the same old thing.'' Guesting on the album will be Kool's son Da
Prince Hakim with his Too Hot All-Stars. Hakim raps on the set's first single, ``Bigg
Thangs.'' Kool says other guests on the album include Funkin', a group comprised of the
sons and younger brothers of the original Parliament/Funkadelic members, and SX4, a female
Kool & the Gang are also working on an album entitled ``Odyssey,'' which will be
released next year. Kool says the set will feature contemporary artists reworking old Kool
& the Gang tunes.
``So far we have Jamiroquai, who have rerecorded `Hollywood Swinging.' Bryan Adams is
working on a rock version of `Celebration,' a new millennium rock version. Other people
we've talked to [are] Sting, Carlos Santana, Outkast, Whitney
Houston, and most recently R. Kelly.''
Actor/director Bill Duke (''Hoodlum'') has also begun preliminary work on film which will
track Kool & the Gang's New Jersey beginnings. The band will embark on a fall tour of
hotels and casinos next week. For the latest updates, check the band's official Web site.
NEWSFILE: 7 AUGUST 2001