Summer Madness – Kool & the Gang (Light of the World, 1974)
Released as a single in 1975, Kool & the Gang’s instrumental classic “Summer Madness” has had an extremely long shelf life that would belie it’s limited chart success (it reached #35 on the pop charts). First it was high-jacked by Will Smith for his 1991 hit song “Summertime” and it’s still prominent on any lite-or-smooth jazz FM station worth it’s salt.
As for the song itself, it’s a stone cold showstopper. Kool & the Gang were known for their later-day hits, but the “Light of the World” album may be one of their best efforts. It’s both sophisticated, mature and smooth. Featuring a great use of synthesizer, inspired basswork by Robert ‘Kool’ Bell this track is the epitome of urban cool.
As far as jazz-soul-and-funk fusion goes this song is as good as it gets. Just sit back, listen and enjoy Dandy Classic fans!