Bernie Worrell

From Academic Kids

Bernie Worrell (born April 19, 1944) is originally from Long Beach, New Jersey but grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey. He is known primarily for his keyboard and production work with Parliament and Funkadelic. By the time he was three years old, Worrell could play the piano. He wrote a concerto at age eight.

As a college student, Worrell played with a group called Chubby & The Turnpikes (later known as The Tavares). He then met George Clinton, then the leader of a doo wop group called The Parliaments. Soon, Worrell, Clinton, The Parliaments and their backing band (Funkadelic) moved to Detroit, Michigan, and became Parliament. During the 1970s, they toured under the names Parliament and Funkadelic. Worrell played the keyboards, and occasionally the organ or other instruments on studio tracks. He officially joined in 1970 with the album Free Your Mind... And Your Ass Will Follow.

P Funk (referring to both bands) stopped touring in the early 1980s, and Worrell released several solo albums. Though he never officially joined Talking Heads, he was a de facto member of the group for most of the 80s, appearing on most of their albums and tours until they broke up in 1992.

From the late 1980's, Worrell has recorded extensively with Bill Laswell.

Through the beginning of the 21st century, Bernie has become a visible member of the so-called Jam band scene, performing in many large summer festivals. These new funk, groove, and rock bands have embraced Worrell's historical relevance and immense talent. His nephew is underground rapper Chino XL.

Worrel has since joined the rock group Black Jack Johnson, with Mos Def, Will Calhoun, Doug Wimbish and Dr. Know. He appears with the band on Mos Def's 2004 release The New Danger.

Most recently, Worrell has joined forces with bass legend Les Claypool, guitarist Buckethead, and drummer Brian Mantia to form the group Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains.

Bernie Worrell (solo) Discography
Year Title Label
1978 All the Woo in the World Arista
1990 B.W. Jam (Rock the House) Rhino
1991 Funk of Ages Gramavision
1993 Pieces of Woo: The Other Side CMP
1993 Blacktronic Science Rhino
1997 Free Agent: A Space Odyssey Black Arc

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