Although often described as an acid jazz outfit, Cooly’s Hot-Box harks back to classic 70s funk-dance masters such as Rufus and Earth, Wind And Fire. It is also refreshing to see a modern day R&B/urban outfit actually write songs and play their own instruments, as exemplified by group leaders Christian Urich (drums) and Angela Johnson (vocals). Formed in New York City, New York, USA during the early 90s, Urich and Johnson originally met while both were pursuing undergraduate degrees in studio composition. Joining with production associates Ticklah and Scribe, Cooly’s Hot-Box issued a string of singles throughout the late 90s. Additionally, they contributed the song ‘Don’t Throw My Love Around’ to the London Records compilation, Giant Steps, which resulted in noted DJ/producer Armand Van Helden sampling the song’s keyboard riff for his hit single, ‘Funk Phenomena’. With their line-up fleshed out with additional players such as Ernesto Abreu (percussion), Victor Axelrod (keyboards), and Chris Smyke (bass), Cooly’s Hot-Box opened for artists including B.B. King, A Tribe Called Quest, Zapp, the Neville Brothers, Guru, and India.Arie. The band finally got around to issuing an album in 2002, Take It, while its two main members have appeared on other artist’s recordings, Urich with Roger Sanchez, Osalaunda, and DJ Spinna, while Johnson wrote and produced a chart-topping hit for Japanese artist, Double.
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