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.
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more