Farewell to the co-founder of the American soul and funk group Kool & The Gang
American soul and funk group Kool & The Gang co-founder Dennis Thomas has passed away. The musician who became known as “Dee Tee” passed away “peacefully in his sleep” on Saturday at the age of 70 years in New Jersey, as the group announced.
“He was an alto saxophonist, flautist, percussionist and master of ceremonies during the group’s performances,” said a statement posted on the group’s Facebook page. Loved for his trendy clothes, hats and laid back demeanor, he was the “cool cat” of the group – which means something like “cool socks”. Thomas was a longtime resident of Montclair, New Jersey. Nothing has been reported on the cause of death. With hits like “Ladies’ Night”, “Celebration” or “Get Down On It”, Kool & The Gang stormed the charts in the 1970s and made people around the world dance with their soul disco. – catchy fun. Their music has also arrived in Hollywood on the soundtracks of movies like “Rocky” and “Saturday Night Fever”. Director Quentin Tarantino used the hit “Jungle Boogie” for his movie “Pulp Fiction”.
The group has released over 20 studio albums. According to their V2 / Omnivore record company, Kool & The Gang have won two Grammys, seven American Music Awards, 25 top 10 R&B hits, and 31 gold and platinum albums in their 50-year career.
Almost a year ago – in September 2020 – group co-founder Ronald Bell passed away at the age of 68. In Jersey City, he and his brother Robert “Kool” Bell had already gathered their neighborhood friends around them in the 1960s and began to play a dancing mix of jazz, soul and funk. After several name changes, they finally called themselves Kool & The Gang starting in 1969 and celebrated their breakthrough soon after.
After a ten-year hiatus, Kool – & – the-Gang’s new album “Perfect Union” will be released on August 20th. We hear saxophonist Thomas alongside Ronald Bell, George Brown and Robert “Kool” Bell. The comeback record contains ten tracks, including the singles “Pursuit Of Happiness” and “Sexy (Where’d You Get Yours)”. dpa