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Spirit of the Boogie


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Performer Notes
  • All tracks have been digitally remastered.
  • Kool & the Gang had already had considerable chart success by the time this of this 1975 effort. They were ready to explore a less marketable sound that focused on extended, modal compositions, richly textured instrumental sections, and the African roots that lay at the heart of all funk. Toward that end, the churning instrumental "Jungle Jazz" is the original recording to which vocals had been added for the band's monster 1974 hit "Jungle Boogie."
  • Ethereal, disembodied-sounding female backing voices, tinkling kalimba, frenetic saxophone, and various percussive accents come and go in these freewheeling arrangements, which favor groove over song-form. There's also an increased presence of snaky analog synth melodies. Kool & the Gang can't keep their pop side from occasionally cropping up, as on the luxurious, airy ballad "Sunshine and Love." Nevertheless, the bulk of the album is given over to an expansive, rhythm-based aesthetic that takes the band's party atmosphere a step further, into the realm of carnival-like tribal celebration, complete with unison chanting and frenzied polyrhythm.
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