Conversing with Keys

Wednesday night I met Bernie Worrell, one of the funkiest beings to walk on planet earth.  He is a member of the Global Noize Jazz project, which contains some talented cats including Bernie, DJ Logic, Mike Clark of Headhunters fame, and Falu.  John Popper showed up to add his harmonica skills.  Only 30 or so people were in the crowd, but those there were heads and well appreciative of the music.  Their version of “We Want the Funk” got people up and dancing.  Adding Falu to the mix, the Headhunters’ “Chameleon” stretched the song even further and expanded its’ soundscape.  Hearing Bernie play the keyboards on this seminal track was unforgettable.  Plus their originals were stuffed with groove and explorations.  Mike Clark was outstanding on drums.  Bernie was Bernie.  He was fun to watch.  He is a pretty small, slight dude who shows extreme disgust with feedback.  His penchant for melodious mixing of sounds added the right amount of funk and outerspace explorations to an already interesting project.

Everyone should check out the documentary, Stranger: Bernie Worrell on Earth.  An amazing documentary about Bernie, it features interviews with all kinds of funkateers.  While not bitter, it certainly is revealing on how Bernie struggles financially despite the fact that millions of dollars have been made using sounds he created.  He truly is a genius, and a wonderful human being, but is largely unknown.  Fortunately, there are dedicated individuals, like Philip Di Fiore, keeping the Funk alive.

A longer Parliafunkadelicment Thangday! post will appear soon.


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