Amoeblog

Honoring The Late Musical Great, Pioneering Funk Keyboardist Bernie Worrell (1944 - 2016)

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2016 07:30pm | Post a Comment

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.

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Bootsy Collins Reports That George Clinton Was Hospitalized This Afternoon

Posted by Billyjam, May 26, 2011 01:45pm | Post a Comment

According to a post from about an hour ago by Bootsy Collins on the funkateer's official Facebook page, his brother in funk, George Clinton, has been hospitalized. Bootsy, who played with Clinton in Parliament-Funkadelic in the early seventies, wrote on his Facebook page early this afternoon (May 26th): "Okay funkateers, our Captain of the Mothership has been hospitalized. I need y'all to send up smoke signals, love vibes, prayers whatever you got, because our great Dr. Funkisien needs us all right now, so stop what you're doing and lay your hands on the radio and let the vibes flow through.The funk not only moves, it Re-Moves, Dig! Thanks! Bootsy!!!"

The famed funk bassist also wrote a similar update on Clinton on his Twitter account this afternoon. The cause for Clinton's hospitalization was not pinpointed but apparently Clinton is in a Los Angeles area hospital and likely will not be released in time to play the scheduled Parliament-Funkadelic show on Saturday (May 28th) at the B.O.M.B. FEST in Hartford, CT. Clinton and the group are also scheduled to play a series of Bay Area shows in early July at Yoshi's Oakland and SF. For updates on the well being of the "Godfather of Funk"  follow Bootsy Collins' Twitter & Facebook accounts.

Rickey (Uhuru Maggot) Vincent's Top Ten Funk Sessions of 2010

Posted by Billyjam, December 13, 2010 04:19pm | Post a Comment
Rickey Vincent The History of Funk
Special thanks to my man Rickey "Uhuru Maggot" Vincent for supplying the Amoeblog with his enlightening Top Ten Funk Sessions of 2010 list that includes the likes of Bernie Worrell's SociaLybrium, Nick Rosen, and Punk Funk Mob. In addition to his Top Ten, Vincent has included some "also digging" additional picks.

Rickey Vincent, who was interviewed about his favorite topic here last year, literally wrote the book on funk music.
Vincent's acclaimed music history book Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of The One (St. Martin's Press), which won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, is the ultimate guide to funk music and its rich history.

Rickey Vincent, who many know from his long-running, popular KPFA 94.1FM radio show The History of Funk (10pm-midnight Fridays) knows more about funk than anyone I know. Not surprisingly, as well as being an author & journalist, he is also an educator on the subject and has taught classes at both City College of San Francisco and SF State University.

Vincent's 2010 Top Ten follows:

Rickey Vincent's Top Ten Funk Sessions of 2010


Another year and another wide ranging collection of funky discs have come my way, and I’m going to share my favorite ones from the year. The best criteria I can give is that these discs have been playing in my iPod nonstop since they came out. Simple as that.

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THE HISTORY OF FUNK BY RICKEY VINCENT

Posted by Billyjam, February 17, 2009 12:51pm | Post a Comment
rickey vincent
Rickey Vincent
literally wrote the book on funk. The college professor, writer, and radio DJ, who resides in Berkeley CA with his wife and two sons, is the author of the acclaimed music history book Funk: The Music, the People, and the Rhythm of The One (St. Martin's Press) which won the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. If you don't already have this book, with a forward by George Clinton, I highly recommended it since it is the most comprehensive study on funk.

In addition to being an author & journalist, Vincent has taught at City College of San Francisco and SF State University where he taught a course entitled Protest Music Since 1965: Funk, Rap and the Black Revolution. Rickey is also a longtime Bay Area radio DJ at stations KALX and KPFA, where he still hosts his popular weekly funk show The History of Funk, Fridays at 10PM on 94.1FM.

The widely respected funkateer's musical knowledge (and music collection) is unmatched. I recently caught up with Vincent to talk about the funk/hip-hop connection and the impact of funk and black music in general on both American and global cultures, among other things. The conversation inevitably turned to godfather of soul / funk pioneer James Brown a few times during the interview. 

Vincent is currently finishing up last minute details on his next book Party Music -- a fascinating historical account of the Black Panther Party's own funk band, Oakland's The Lumpen, who took popular funk songs and rhythms but substituted more revolutionary lyrics. (Look for a future interview with him about this upon its publication.) For more information on the author, you can visit Rickey Vincent's website or his MySpace. You can also read his book or check out his show on KPFA.

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