The Pace Report

Season 2011 Episode 10.21.11

The Pace Report: "Dr Woo's Jazzy-Funky Orchestra" The Bernie Worrell Interview

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Pianist and Keyboardist Bernie Worrell is probably one of the most important and innovative musicians to help shape and mold how funk, jazz, classical, and rock in American popular music. This Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, along with Eddie Hazel, William “Bootsie” Collins, and George Clinton changed the world musically by adding a new musical mix by playing a more aggressive form of music that added the use of electronics as well as percussion to the mix. The groups Parliament-Funkadelic would become a musical amalgamation that played rock and soul that evolved into funk music. Worrell would go on to become the arranger and co-writer of the groups songs including “Flashlight,” Give Up the Funk,” “Mothership Connection,” and “Aqua Boogie.” His signature Minimoog and many keyboard arrangements have been sampled endlessly by rappers including De La Soul, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and A Tribe Called Quest. His latest project is both a labor of love as well as something he’s wanted to record during his entire career. “Bernie Worrell: Standards,” is his first jazz recording in a career that spans some 45 years. Bernie enlisted the help of drummer Evan Taylor, who also serves as the co-producer of the disc, to also put together his new group The Bernie Worrell Orchestra. As his producer, both the and Bernie endlessly put together a list of jazz standards ranging from Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train” to Dave Brubeck’s “Take 5.” But it allows him to play behind a nine-piece band that features two drummers, a percussionist, two saxophonists, a trumpeter, a bassist, and guitarist. It’s a funky and organic project that allows the master keyboardist to ‘funk out’ these jazz standards. These songs aren’t a far departure from Bernie’s origins and beginning in the industry. Born George Bernard Worrell, Jr on April 19, 1944 in Long Branch, New Jersey,moreless

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