As if 2016 cannot bring any more sad news of musical greats passing, this afternoon confirmed reports began circulating that influential keyboardist/musical great Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic, Talking Heads etc.) died at noon today from stage four lung cancer at age 72. Both master and pioneer of the Moog synthesizer and the Minimoog, the New Jersey born George Clinton collaborator, who relocated with Clinton and The Parliaments to Detroit in the 70's, was the backbone of Clinton's various named/themed ensembles. But it was namely the trailblazing Parliament-Funkadelic funk / soul / rock ensemble that garnered Worrell (aka Dr. Woo) the most attention initially. Among his many fans were the members of Talking Heads who invited him to join them in the early 80's as a side project to his P-Funk gig. This he did and continued to do throughout that decade. As a member of both P-Funk and Talking Heads, Worrell was inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1997 and 2002 respectively. In addition to P-Funk and Talking Heads and the dozen solo albums he released over the years including 1978's All The Woo In The World and 1990's Funk of Ages, Worrell collaborated with numerous other artists including Fela Kuti, Jack Bruce, Steve Jordan, Buckethead, and Les Claypool. Just recently the vinyl version of the 2016 career look-back, Retrospectives on Purple Woo, arrived in Amoeba following the CD version. Worrell, who was featured in last year's movie Ricki and The Flash as member of Meryl Streep’s band in the 2015 film, performed with Clinton and P-Funk as recently as two months ago. See footage below along with a series of other tracks/concert pieces featuring the musical great.
Rest in peace "The Wizard of Woo" Bernie Worrell.