Music » Livewire

Bernie Worrell & His Woo Warriors

With Sultans of Bing. Friday, June 2, at the Beachland Ballroom.


While not an original architect of da Funk, keyboard wizard Bernie Worrell is down as an indispensable member of the construction crew. As a wee lad, he performed with symphony orchestras, composing a piano concerto at the ripe age of eight. But -- here's where it all changed -- young Bernie listened to the radio when the funk bug bit.

Worrell -- who knew George Clinton as a youth back in New Jersey -- joined the Parliament/Funkadelic R&B-meets-psychedelia posse after its inception and soon became one of its central members. He flourished in his star-studded glasses until the early '80s, when another pioneering ensemble beckoned: Talking Heads. Since, he's played on more platters than you've had hot breakfasts, from rock icons Jack Bruce and Keith Richards to Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti and cutting-edge types Mike Watt and Bill Laswell. Yet Worrell has managed to find time to do his own thing from time to time -- intrepid souls should pursue his currently out-of-print Funk of Ages set, wherein Richards, David Byrne, and Herbie Hancock back him. Word.

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