Keyboardist Bernie Worrell, who was a key member of Parliament-Funkadelic when the innovative funk band became huge, is playing a free in-store at Shake-It Records today at 7 pm, and he will also perform live at the Blue Wisp tomorrow night (Tuesday, April 16) at 8 pm at the Blue Wisp. Tickets for the Wisp show are $20; call 241-WISP for more information. Bernie is touring with his own 9-piece Funk Orchestra that includes a horn section, and if a funk guru performing at a jazz club seems like a stretch, it’s worth noting that in 2011 Bernie recently released an album of jazz standards (performed his own funky way, of course).
I’ve seen Bernie a few times – with the Talking Heads, the Golden Palominos, Jerry Harrison’s Casual Gods – and, back in the antediluvian era, the Mothership Connection tour with Parliament-Funkadelic. Seeing that spaceship landing on the stage of Hara Arena really did a number on me – so much so that I wrote about it many years later for crawdaddy.com, which has since folded, but before that happened some other websites grabbed hold of it. Here’s a link to the article for anybody who has a couple extra hours:
And here’s some footage of Bernie during a live performance with none other than Bootsy Collins – which leads me to wonder…What the heck is Bootsy going to be up to Tuesday night?