Robert "Kool" Bell...

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Slater, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I stumbled across a Kool and the Gang CD and decided to toss it into the ole' CD player, and I noticed that Bell's bass playing really stands out. Of coarse, I've noticed this before (after all, it was my CD that I found), but this last listen has inspired me to try to find out about the man nicknamed "Kool".

    So, If anyone would care to post anything they know about Robert "Kool" Bell such as, his gear choices, recording techniques, or favorite color ;) etc., I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    What kool & the Gang albums did you hear? The early 80's albums that where produced by Deodato, had Will Lee playing doesn't really matter tho....because Robert Bell always wrote very cool and economic funk lines! I saw them a bunch in Jersey in the old days........I think he used to play a Jazz bass though Acoustic & Kustom amps in the 70''s been a long time:)
  3. Ciaran


    Apr 4, 2001
    Kool is one of my favourites...and an education in disco-funk.

    "Bell’s main bass is a graphite-neck Zon Sonus strung with Rotosound Swing Bass roundwounds. On tour he relies on rented equipment, preferring Eden, SWR, or Trace Elliot amps driving 15" and 18" cabinets"
    -sez Bassplayer magazine.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Early on, Kool & The Gang were a lot more 'adventurous' in their Funk forays...then, they happened to get a decent lead singer &, although a commercial success, the whole thing went down the tubes. ;)

    I remember seeing pictures of Bell with an Alembic(in the '80s)...I think.

    From Funk by Dave Thompson-
    (& this is for Jerry)-
    "Kool & The Gang formed as the Jazziacs in Jersey City in 1961". 1961!
    BTW, a nice little write-up on the band in the aforementioned book; grab a seat & a latte the next time you're in Barnes/Noble or Borders & peruse it. ;)
  5. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    It was a "Greatest Hits/Best of" CD.

    Thanks for the replies everyone :) .
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Robert "Kool" Bell was one of my earliest influences.
    "Love the life you live", "Chocolate Buttermilk"... Kool wasn't flashy or busy, he was just plain kool.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Hey, Brad-
    The first paragraph in my above post...didn't I steal that bit of knowledge from you? ;)

    BTW, EW&F had about the same history; their first couple of albums...whew! A couple of those early cuts really show the band's AACM/Chicago Free Jazz scene influence.
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Yep, on both counts.
  9. Kool was/is very good. His band is one of the few funky ones I listen to and he kicks it all the time.

    He used the Steinberger XL-2's for a long time.
  10. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    "Summer Madness" & "Hollywood Swinging". Kool was Kool! :cool:
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    Primary TB Assistant

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