Michael Aaron and FUNKglove

Michael Aaron and FUNKglove

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R & B - Soul | Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Total Song Plays: 62   
Member Since: 2005
   Last Login: over 30 days ago

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Bio Information

Michael Aaron
Michael had been developing his songwriting craft for years before he even began performing live. With the help of mentors like Greg Gavin and Steve Coleman he was able to begin to develop his writing talent; a talent that, as it matured, was augmented by his skills as a keyboardist, guitarist and bassist. It’s his ability to not only play but to write on various instruments that gives “The Whole Lovely…” some of its unique sound, an unusual blend of influences from rock to gospel, jazz and soul. We have come to call it ‘rebel soul’.
However, not only is Michael adept at creating a unique recorded sound, he is also an energetic, experienced live performer. In the nineties, Michael led various incarnations of the group through its paces in countless shows throughout the DC metro area. “This pace slowed a bit , in order for us to concentrate on making the best record we could make.”

Kofi Rozzell

Kofi Rozzell’s experience as a musician and producer is both varied and deep. As the drummer for innovative reggae/funk band the Soul Defender Posse, Kofi was able to tour to Europe and all over the U.S. When the run of the S.D.P. ended, he began a partnership with former band mate Dan Parker at One World Studios. As a producer, he began Invisible Arts Lab in 1999 and produced tracks for Mustafa Akbar, Nina Lane (of Oktbrwrld) before beginning work on “The Whole Lovely…” Having known Micheal Aaron for several years and knowing his talents as a musician and songwriter, the two jumped into the project with a great deal of zeal and love. The resulting album reveals talents that the world will soon appreciate.

Hodari Sudan

Named by his parents, Hodari Sudan is Swahili for courageous heart of Afrika and brings to KOKOBOOM many different styles and years of professional playing experience. Classically trained with Martin Luther King's college roomate and after a two-year jazz studies stint at the Hartford Conservatory, he took what he had learned to DC for several years of playing and recording with Word, Sun Machine, Hard as Steel, Monique Miller, and other area bands. He draws influences "from Cumbia to Qawalli" and is an avid student of all musical traditions.

Rock Explosion

Koko Boom(Courtesy Photo)

A Rock-Soul Explosion
by Pete Glowatsky
Special to Washingtonpost.com/MP3Friday, May 13, 2005
The Boom that began at the Invisible Arts Lab recording studio at Ninth and N streets NW began as a much smaller collision between two artists more than a decade earlier. "We've known each other more than 10 years and played in different groups," explains Michael Aaron, the mastermind behind Koko Boom .
"I was working on this album, and when Kofi [Rozzell] started working with me, it became obvious that we wanted to continue working together." With that, Koko Boom was born. Together with keyboardist Hodari McClain and the post-recording addition of guitarist Rich Russman, the band fuses funky R&B grooves with a dash of rock and roll musicality, something that is often missing in today's beat-driven, hip-hop-influenced outfits.
"We're trying to bring back the live element to shows," Aaron says.
That ethos is splattered all over Koko Boom's recently released debut CD, "The Whole Lovely…." Jangling guitars mix with Aaron's buttery vocals on the sultry opener "Like a Woman," the first of a quartet of romantic odes. The formula changes little from track to track, but Aaron's knack for writing strong hooks and the occasional flash of other elements (Mark Allred's trumpet and trombone blasts, McClain's piano and Fender Rhodes fingerwork) keep the album from becoming stale. Rozzell's steady drumming throughout cements the disc's hip-swaying factor.
Aaron and Rozzell spent a year in the studio learning how to record an album from the ground up. "Having never produced a record before and having never recorded my songs before, it was a process," Aaron admits. "We learned a lot."
"Trying to find the right way to get through the process, what order to do things, when to record the vocals," Rozzell interjects. Though the record reflects Aaron and Rozzell's musical partnership, the former is the creative engine behind Koko Boom. Aaron wrote all of the songs over a four-year period, plays many of the instruments and sings on each track. "He got the meat of the songs together, and then we got together to flesh it out," says Rozzell.
"Generally, it's all personal stuff," says the songwriter. Love and romance form the backbone of "The Whole Lovely…" but Aaron spreads his wings under an insistent groove on the spiritually minded "Heavy Weather," the song on the album that he says remained truest to his original blueprint. Although mild disillusionment percolates in "Under America," Aaron quickly regroups for "Weary," offering unclouded hope for those not as far along the path. "Don't be discouraged young ones/ though life is hard/ you're young and your heart is still brave," he sings, reinforcing an overtly optimistic thread that weaves all the songs together.
"I think we wanted to make a positive record, so we tried to stick to positive things," Aaron explains. "Not to put a certain image in a person's mind, we wanted songs where people couldn't just hear positive things but feel them listening to the music." Rozzell completes the picture: "It's a positive and energetic experience, but there's no fluff." Furthering the notion that Koko Boom is anything but light, they kick it up a notch onstage. Both Aaron and Rozzell repeatedly use the word "energetic" to describe the band's sets. "You get the rock feel more when you see us live," Aaron says.
That presents its own challenges, according to both. "It's not a straight R&B record; it's not a rock record," Rozzell says. "I think that's one of our challenges -- to find our audience." Aaron agrees: "We haven't necessarily found our clique or our group yet."
Both musicians list the Beatles, Sly Stone, David Bowie, Prince and Jimi Hendrix as influences, so it makes sense that their live sound is eclectic and prone to jamming.