One of the great definers of 20th Century music died Friday at the age of 72. Bernie Worrell's career spanned from the 60s to 2016, and while he is best known as the keyboard player of Parliament-Funkadelic, he lent his talents to a mind-bogglingly wide array of artists, including Talking Heads, Praxis, Fela Kuti, Keith Richards, Fred Schneider, Jack Bruce, Midday Veil, and other too numerous to list.
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-06-25
Worrell was born and raised in New Jersey and started playing piano at an early age. He studied at Julliard and the New England Conservatory of Music, and started playing in bands in the 60s. Through the 70s, he was a key member of the Parliament-Funkadelic collective with George Clinton, and was an early player of Moog synthesizers. He released his first solo album, All the Woo in the World, in 1978, the first of more than a dozen recordings under his own name.
During the 80s, he was engaged to spice up Talking Heads music both live and in the studio, and his frequent guest appearances with a wide variety of artists assured his status as one of the go-to keyboard players in almost any genre. In addition to composed music, he has a long history of improvised playing as well, including a number of spontaneous albums on his own and with others.
Filed under: Obituaries
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