Bernie Worrell passed away yesterday at the young age of 72. He had been battling cancer for a while and finally lost yesterday.
Bernie is probably best known for his role in both Parliament/Funkadelic and Talking Heads—two of the most important bands of the last half century. The keyboardist was also a frequent Gov’t Mule collaborator. One of the Hall of Famers best sit ins was on Live With a Little Helps From My Friends when he played organ on the Neil Young masterpiece “Cortez the Killer.”
While I have been and will always be in love with the Cortez from that album, I have come across some other versions that give that recording a run for it’s money.
I recently came across this gem for the first time a couple of days ago. Billed as a record release at Irving Plaza in NYC back in March of 1999, this performance is epic on so many levels. Warren’s solo is awe inspiring, Allen Woody traded in his bass for a double neck guitar and Bernie Worrell plays an intense, at times gritty keyboard that demands your attention.