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Kool & the Gang: Twenty Years of Funk Foundation and Pop Permutation

Mark Rowland, Musician, April 1984

ROBERT "KOOL" Bell's father was a boxing man. He worked his trade on the upper west side, part of a neighborhood now long gone, Lincoln Center stands on its ruins. Young Miles Davis liked to work out in the ring between gigs. Pounding out strange, discordant harmonies in a flat above the gym was a piano player named Thelonious Monk. "My father used to joke with him: 'Man, what are you doing up there making all that noise?' He wasn't a musician himself, but as a boxer he liked jazz, liked to cool out and listen to it, and by knowing Miles and Thelonious — well, they kinda kept him up on it, you know?"

Total word count of piece: 2131


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