, somebody has stolen one of his pianists! Certainly in a blindfold test, most listeners would mistake Elevation: The Upper Air for a release by ECM Records, probably identifying the pianist as Marcin Wasilewski
But there it is. Gasp. A solo acoustic piano outing by the keyboardist that fueled the music of George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Rolling Stones, Talking Heads, Lee "Scratch" Perry, and many, many other bands. The classically trained, Juilliard and New England Conservatory of Music educated pianist has long been a collaborator with bassist Bill Laswell
, performing in the projects Method Of Defiance, Praxis, and Material.
Produced by Laswell, the music displays a ruminative, and often lost-in- thought meditative sound. Worrell draws from touchstones of his musical past and also writes three penetrating and sensitive pieces. He opens with Joe Zawinul
's "Alabama" is played with a thundering left hand (the hand of God?) and the compassion of a nation. Then there is the one-hit wonder soul song "Ooh Child" by The Five Stairsteps that is instantly recognizable, yet slowed to a doleful crawl. In Worrell's hands the music becomes a sacred ritual. Closing with Bob Marley