Formed by Robert "Kool" Bell, his brother Ronald and bunch of their New Jersey teenage friends in the mid-60s (then called the Jazziacs), the group played traditional jazz in regional venues for many years, slowly morphing their style to incorporate emerging funk sounds of Sly and the Family Stone and James Brown.
Kool & the Gang were just an afterthought in the music world in 1979 when they brought in James J.T. Taylor and pop/jazz producer, Eumir Deodato for one last attempt, and came up with the dance album called Ladies Night.
Deodato simplified and sweetened the group's jazz style, fronting the group with James Taylor’s alluring tenor voice. It was an across-the-board smash, leading to two top hits, the title song and the single, "Too Hot." “Ladies Night” was followed by years of even greater success with hits like “Misled”, “Cherish”; “Take My heart”, “Celebration”, “Joanna” and “Lets Go Dancing”.
In 1987 Taylor left the group to pursue a modestly successful solo career.
Now a quintet consisting of brothers Robert "Kool" Bell, Ronald Bell (Khalis Bayyan), George Brown, Dennis Thomas and Charles Smith (all original group members), the group tours internationally with a 12-piece band. -