Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Kool & the Gang|
Love & Understanding
Genres: Pop, R&B
Listen to Samples
A must have! Long before James "J.T." Taylor came along.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If your a true Kool and the Gang fanatic, this CD is for you. If your looking for James J.T. Taylor this CD is not for you. This CD is pure Kool and the Gang, before they became a huge crossover sensation in the 1980's. The studio cuts are a rare find, however the live recordings are outstanding. Recorded live at the Rainbow Theater in London, "Hollywood Swinging" a Kool and the Gang standard, shows off their outstanding horn section. While Robert Bell keeps the tempo on bass guitar are a delight to listen to. "Summer Madness" comes across slowly, then picks up with the synthesizer in a mesmorizing sound that is not easily forgotten. "Universal Sound" has the live crowd participating throughout the track. All in all this CD is a MUST HAVE."
IT'S TIME FOR LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING!!!!!!!!
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 09/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A message to all the people reading this review:if your looking for that all encompassing rhythmic vision of music typified in the book Funk: The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of The One regarding "united funk" or what I call people music (or people funk) than LOOK NO FURTHER!!!! In every measurable sense this album completely embodies that particular style and flavor of music along with a series of other majestic recordings such as Spirit,Soul Searching,Hot on the Tracks,Songs in the Key of Life and The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein-all from the key year for funk 1976 and all of which,well if you want a good starter funk collection are all must have's. All of the above mentioned albums each have their own flavors and the one Kool chose for this one was free,technically demanding at the same time and very very profound. One of funk,as well as jazz's trademarks over the years are there abilities as musical styles to embody a high degree of profundity stated in deceivingly simple ways. In their salad years of the 70's K&TG were more than able to blend the deep rhythmic structures of James Brown with a somewhat avante garde jazz sensability. They'd been doing it for five years before this came out and this,originally intended as a live album ended up featuring a first half of studio cuts. All four of them are not only deeply in the groove but actually expand in different ways on the deeply Afrocentric funk style of their previous release Spirit of the Boogie. The title song has one of the most involving rhythms you could possibly have and the lyrics,literally invite everyone listening to "come together" and get into the song however they want;singing along,dancing,both-your choice. "Do It Right" now extends on that concept not by coaxing but DEMANDING that the listener participates where "Cosmic Energy",with it's introductory synthesizers invites you to the world of space funk,a style well explored but so often misunderstood."Sugar",well of the studio songs is probably the most romantic but still the groove may be smoother but is more than strong and the Marvin Gaye-like arrangement and female vocals really bring a lot into it's character. Many musicians,including those in the funk era felt that the music they made were best appreciated on stage and while the visual element is missing of course the three live cuts included here are highly relevatory as it features the band onstage in London performing three fairly elongated tunes:a very uplifting version of "Hollywood Swinging" of course but also a long version of "Summer Madness" with this absolutely incredible psychedelic synthesizer solo during the middle of it. "Universal Sound"....well in four minutes and with little more than "listen..listen" chanted for words it pretty much encompassess the bands complete musical vision and let's the instrumentation do all the talking. The ending is....an extension,maybe a piece cut off the title song called "Come Together" that serves as the glue that holds the album together. I've pondered many times over the years how,despite perhaps a fringe popularity mostly based in novelty and/or nostalgia how funk is,for all intents and purposes a somewhat unsung and neglected music as an artform. Sure it's enjoyed periodic commercial and critical success over the years but unless taken (and often despised) mistakenly as disco from people not in the know the "message in the music" reaches too few sadly enough. But it's here in this album,or considering it's now out of print it WAS here and for those who want to get up,get into it and get involved this is one of the albums you should look for."
2nd Best Kool & The Gang Album Ever
G. M. Jenkins | Mountain View, CA United States | 03/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Love & Understanding is worth it just for the live, faster version of "Hollywood Swinging". They were a fierce live band and the live cuts really showcase the energy and mastery of groove that they had. Their live versions show the versatility that the band had as well and that they could really flip a classic like "Summer Madness".
The studio cuts are quite nice as well.
"Love & Understanding" is a solid groove. "Sugar" is a bit sweeter with some soothing female vocals and some more electronic sounds. "Do It Right Now" is very upbeat really moves. "Cosmic Energy" has some Jungle Boogie-esque vocals and is a straight jam about space.
Like the other reviewer said, this album doesn't have JT on it, so only get this if you want the early unadulterated funk of Kool & The Gang. This is a scorcher!"