A week has passed since legendary keyboardist Bernie Worrell died at age 72 after a long battle with cancer. The Wizard Of Woo amassed a storied career that saw him become an innovator of his instrument, helping to bring synthesizers and the subsequent funk music they facilitated to the forefront of popular music. This week’s Spotify Playlist explores the lengthy career of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee through the various projects he contributed to over the past several decades.
Best known for his defining work with Parliament-Funkadelic, much of the playlist is built upon that output from the 1970s that first introduced the wonders of the Woo to world. Solo works by his P-Funk collaborators Bootsy Collins, Eddie Hazel and others are featured along with many cuts from solo albums Bernie released throughout his life. His work with Talking Heads and band members David Byrne and Jerry Harrison is represented, as are his contributions to solo recordings by Cream band mates Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. Worrell’s afrobeat skills are heard on tracks by Fela Kuti and Manu Dibango, while he shows off his talents in the reggae genre with Burning Spear.
The 50-song set also has a few songs from his sitting-in with Gov’t Mule, as well as collabs with Mike Watt, Spin Doctors, Big Head Todd & The Monsters and others. Worrell’s frequent cohort Bill Laswell pops up on selections from Material, Praxis and a recording with Karsh Kale. There’s also a song from his Colonel Claypool’s Bucket Of Bernie Brains project featuring Les Claypool, Buckethead and Bryan “Brain” Mantia and appearances on other tracks with Mike Gordon, Warren Haynes, DJ Logic among several additional talented musicians. Stream the mighty five hour and 40 minute Spotify Playlist below: