Bernie Worrell — Stranger: Bernie Worrell on Earth
(MVDV4618, 2007, DVD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-10-01
Keyboardist Bernie Worrell is no stranger to making friends while making music. Since his initial ground breaking work as keyboardist and synthesizer innovator for Parliament / Funkadelic, the artist has been the envy and mysterious collaborator of many a high profile rock musician from the Talking Heads to Bill Laswell, Jack Bruce to Mos Def. Worrell’s career has been driven by a need to be present and establish keen interplay for songwriters and high profile musicians but remains a player with thoughtful chops. Worrell’s slippery Moog synth playing on “Flashlight” was a revelation for George Clinton later paving the way to his participation in the Talking Head’s Stop Making Sense project that turned pop music on its ear. Glowing candid accounts of his playing from David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, and Chris Frantz indicate the respect and esteem from peers all musicians cherish. Showing Worrell’s cross genre influence, Mos Def and dub music icon Bill Laswell peg the hip-hop sound to Worrell’s invention. Cool live footage of Worrell jamming on “Killer Mosquito” with Gov’t Mule’s Warren Hayes as well as Living Colour’s Wil Calhoun demonstrate the musician in action doing his unique thing with his friends just eating it up. Worrell himself provides a little history of his endeavors but is careful not to reveal his full hand. Overall this is an exceptional but all too brief examination of the man, his music and admirers.
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more