From left to right: Robert “Kool” Bell Ronald “Khalis” Bell, Dennis “Dee Tee” Thomas and George Brown of Kool & The Gang, who received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in October. Ronald “Halis” Bell, co-founder, composer, saxophonist, singer and producer of Kool & The Gang, died Wednesday morning at his “home” in the Virgin Islands. Ronald “Halis” Bell, who played with Kool & The Gang on March 29, 1974 After his education, Ronald, Kool and the rest of the band performed in New York City for the next five years, regularly gaining experience as a jazz band, as well as iterations and finding their sound. But with the release of Sweat in 1989, recorded without Ronald Bell, J.T. Taylor or Robert “Spike” Mickens, the magic of the studio group began to fade. “We grew up in jazz,” Ronald Bell told writer Vernon Gibbs about the British edition of Black Music in 1974. “We were focused on one thing, and like our first Apollo show, we had to change our thing to play something that people would understand,” Ronald Bell told Vernon Gibbs. The change in sound was evident before the 1980s with the recording of singer J.T. Taylor and the release of Ladies’ Night in 1979; the album became platinum the following year with singles such as the title track and “Too Hot. “The next two albums of the band, “Celebration” and “Something Special”, also became platinum. Bell then returned on tour with Kool & The Gang in the 90s and 2000s. In 1969, The Seven recorded their debut with producer Gene Redd and guitarist Woody Sparrow for De-Lite Records, an instrumental album of the same name that crossed the jazz circle of great metal bands, funk, and the fertile and constantly evolving sound of New York jazz.
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