Friday, 27 September 2013

The Kay-Gees: Gang! Keep On Bumpin' - Who's The Man With The Masterplan?

The Kay-Gees
(Who's The Man With The Masterplan?)

Amir Bayyan, Callie Cheek, Dennis White , Kevin Lassiter, Michael Cheek, Peter Duarte, Ray Wright, Wilson Becket

Songs written and produced by Kool & the Gang's Ronald Bell. In the mid 1970's, they had a very funky feel, with great chunky basslines ("Masterplan") and guitar scratching ("Hustle wit' every muscle"). Other great songs of this period on the Gang label were "Waiting at the bus stop" (getting in on the bus-stop disco dancing craze) and "STP (singing, teaching, preaching)", a wild mild funk classic.
Changing to the main De-lite outlet coincided with a change in style for the Kay Gee's who began to record a more pure form of disco. Listen for all their classic disco tracks like "Tango hustle", "Space disco" and "Kilowatt invasion"... you'll be hustling in no time. "Burn me up" is produced by Patrick Adams.

Biography by Steve Huey (AMG):
A funk outfit formed in Jersey City, NJ, Kay-Gee's had some valuable mentors in Kool & the Gang -- specifically Ronald Bell, who was happy to serve as producer, arranger, and sometimes songwriter for his younger brother Kevin's band. In addition to Kevin Bell on guitar and several other instruments, Kay-Gee's featured saxophonist Peter Duarte, brass player Ray Wright, woodwind player Dennis White, keyboardist Kevin Lassiter, bassist Michael Cheek, drummer Callie Cheek, and percussionist Wilson Beckett. Signed to Kool & the Gang's own Gang imprint, Kay-Gee's issued their debut album Keep on Bumpin' & Masterplan in 1974. With Ronald Bell penning the majority of the material, Kay-Gee's' sound was highly similar to the hard, tight grooves of early Kool & the Gang; singles like "You've Got to Keep on Bumpin'," "Who's the Man? (With the Master Plan)" (yes, the source of that ubiquitous hip-hop sample), and "Get Down" gave them an enduring reputation among hardcore funk connoisseurs. Burn Me Up followed in 1975, producing the single "Hustle Wit' Every Muscle," which became the theme song for the TV series Party. By the time of 1976's Find a Friend, Ronald Bell's involvement with the group had begun to decrease, resulting in a flirtation with disco on cuts like "Find a Friend" and "Waiting at the Bus Stop." Their final album, 1978's Kilowatt, was a full-fledged disco-funk extravaganza released on New York's De-Lite label, and featured several popular club singles, including "Cheek to Cheek" and "Tango Hustle." However, they disbanded not long afterward.
(AMG. Copyright © 2013 All Media Guide, LLC. Content provided by All Music Guide ®, a trademark of All Media Guide, LLC. All rights reserved.)

A funk and disco group with a groove closely associated with the "New York sound" of the 70s as defined by De-Lite Records, the Kay Gees were proteges of Kool and the Gang. Formed in Jersey City, New Jersey, their members included multi-instrumentalist Kevin Bell (younger brother of Ronald "Kool" Bell of Kool and the Gang), bassist Michael Cheek, drummer Callie "Poppa Funk" Cheek, percussionist Wilson "Marty" Becket and keyboardist Kevin "Ice" Lassiter. The horn section was comprised on Peter Duarte, Dennis "Dee" White, and Ray "Savoir Fair" Wright.
Their first two LPs were dominated by the influence of their mentors, particularly on compositions like "You've Got to Keep On Bumpin'," "Masterplan" and "You Can Be A Star." Success was immediate, with appearances on Soul Train and their "Hustle Wit' Every Muscle" being selected as the theme song for the short-lived television show Party.
In time, the Kay Gees grew out of Kool and the Gang's shadow, switching to a disco-influenced fast funk style that proved very popular in clubs. During the latter stages of their career, they blessed dancefloors with classic jams such as "Find A Friend," "Tango Hustle," "Watiting At The Bus Stop," and "Cheek To Cheek," many of which were issued as 12 inch singles.

Kay Gee's Deepest Grooves:
Keep on Bumpin' & Masterplan (Gang, 1974)
Overwhelmingly Kool and the Gang-influenced release that boasts the famous "Who's The Man With The Masterplan" sample that was popularized in the late 80s. Ronald Bell is all over this LP as writer and producer. Crucial for fans of hard and heavy horn-based funk.
Burn Me Up (Gang, 1975)
Find a Friend (Gang, 1976)
Beginning to develop a unique sound on this album. Ronald Bell is still involved with the band, but "STP," "Waiting At The Bus Stop" and "Find A Friend" embrace the disco lights more readily than anything they'd previously recorded.
Kilowatt (De-Lite, 1978)
Their final statement is an all out disco-funk affair that is executed with precision. "Kilowatt," "Space Disco," "Cheek to Cheek," and "Tango Hustle" are the crucial cuts, but don't forget "Kay Gee's Theme Song" or "Fat Daddy."
Greatest Hits (Unidisc, 1994)
This retrospective package arrived out of the blue, considering none of their material had been available since the late 70s. Focuses heavily on the first LP, but includes songs from all their recordings.
Essential Dancefloor Artists (Deep Beats, 1995)
Not sure if this is still in print, but it's a more well-rounded compilation than the Unidisc, focusing more on the late 70s cuts than the Kool clones of their early records.
From All Things Deep
Copyright ©2002 All rights reserved.

The Kay-Gees

”Keep On Bumpin’ & Masterplan”
–Expanded –
( Unidisc Records, Canada, 1993 )
Catalog # SPLK-7100

1 Get Down (4:30)
2 Let’s Boogie (5:07)
3 My Favorite Song (2:36)
4 You’ve Got To Keep On Bumpin’ (8:09)
5 Hustle Wit Every Muscle (Theme From “Party” T.V. Show) (3:10)
6 Master Plan (2:49)
7 Who’s The Man? (With The Master Plan) (1:53)
8 Ain’t No Time (Part 1) (1:47)
9 Wondering (4:16)
10 Ain’t No Time (Part 2) (4:55)
11 Anthology (2:29)
12 My Favorite Song (Disco Version) (5:12)
13 Hustle Wit Every Muscle (Long Version) (4:10)
14 Let’s Boogie (Instrumental) (4:01)

Personnel & Credits:
Arranged By – Kay-Gees, The , Ronald Bell
Bass – Kevin Bell , Michael Cheek
Clavinet – Kevin Bell , Kevin Lassiter
Drums – Callie Cheek
Engineer – Bob Clearmountain, Harvey Goldberg, Jeffrey Lesser
Featuring – Ronald Bell , Royal Jackson , Something Sweet
Guitar [Lead] – Kevin Bell
Keyboards, Piano [Electric Fender Rhodes], Organ, String Ensemble, Synthesizer, Melodica – Kevin Lassiter
Mastered By – José Rodriguez
Percussion – Callie Cheek , Dennis White, Kevin Bell, Kevin Lassiter, Michael Cheek, Peter Duarte , Ray Wright
Percussion [Latin], Congas, Guitar – Wilson Becket
Producer – Ronald Bell
Saxophone [Alto, Soprano, Baritone], Kettle Drums – Peter Duarte
Saxophone [Electric Tenor], Flute, Harmonica – Dennis White
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Trombone [Valve Slide], Cornet – Ray Wright
Vocals – Callie Cheek , Kevin Bell , Kevin Lassiter , Michael Cheek , Peter Duarte , Ray Wright , Wilson Becket
Vocals [Monologue] – Dennis White

Special guests artists: Ronald Bell; Royal Jackson and “Something Sweet” consisting of Beverly Owens, Cynthia Huggins, Joan Motley and Reneé Connell.
Special guest lyricist: Harold (que pasa) Hernandez – our manager
Executive producer Kool & The Gang
Format: Album
Country: Canada
Original Release: 1974 (Gang Records, Cat.# Gang 101)
This record contains 4 extra tracks.


''You’ve Got To Keep On Bumpin’''

The debut LP from Kay-Gee's proved that the band led by Kevin Bell (brother to Kool & the Gang's Ronald) had all the deep, driving grooves, kinetic energy, and street-corner vibes of funk's master outfit. Produced by Ronald Bell and Kool & the Gang, Keep on Bumpin' & Masterplan featured a pair of strong lead tracks and plenty more strong material, like "Hustle Wit Every Muscle" (used as the theme song to the television show Party). The Kay-Gee's' horn section was equal to Kool & the Gang's, and if they lacked a few of the awesome hooks that propelled Ronald Bell's group into the R&B charts on a regular basis, alto/soprano Pete Duarte was a superior soloist and female vocal trio Something Sweet filled in the gaps on the great jam "Let's Boogie" and "Wondering." Kay-Gee's were also better at locking into great grooves, while Kool & the Gang spent too much time mixing up their style. True, a Kool & the Gang singles collection would blow Kay-Gee's' out of the water, but even they never recorded an album as good as Keep on Bumpin' & Masterplan.
By John Bush (AMG)

K.G. stands for Kool & The Gang... If I'm not mistaken the leader of this group is Robert Bell's younger bro (?) - - whatever the case, if you've ever heard a cute little ditty (actually not cute, mega *ss bumpin) by Kool & The Gang called "Spirit of the Boogie" - - the album that "Jungle Jazz" eminated from - - you should have an idea what Keep On Bumpin' and Master Plan is about - - in fact, you might say that these tripped out layered hard core dance grooves might just as well be out takes from Spirit of The Boogie - - ergo, listen up hard core funkateer - - GET YOUR HANDS IT and don't let go ! This is the kind of '70s funk album that rap producers in search of funk go nuts sampling the heck out of (and it has !)
By Eddie Landsbergs (Amazon)


''Let’s Boogie (Instrumental)''

''Ain’t No Time (Bonus)''

The Kay-Gees' greatest LP – and far and away better than anything else they ever did! Grabbing up this one is like finding a lost Kool & The Gang LP from the early years –which is no surprise, since Ronald Bell of the group produced it and wrote a lot of the songs with the group. The band are incredibly tight instrumentally – with lots of hard drums, choppy guitar, and the rolling party feel that made Kool & The Gang so great during their best years. There's some great horns that blast in and out, sounding very off-beat at the best moments – like the classic "Who's the Man With the Master Plan", sampled by YZ many years ago – or other funky cuts like "Ain't No Time", "Get Down", and "You've Got to Keep on Bumpin".
© 1996-2013, Dusty Groove America, Inc.

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