Amazon.com Widgets

Bernie Worrell: Elevation: The Upper Air (2014)

By Published: | 2,580 views
Bernie Worrell: Elevation: The Upper Air How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Alert Manfred Eicher, 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 or Tord Gustavsen
Tord Gustavsen
Tord Gustavsen
b.1970
piano
before ever guessing it was by one of the founders of Parliament/Funkadelic, Bernie Worrell .

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
Bill Laswell
Bill Laswell
b.1955
bass
, 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
Joe Zawinul
Joe Zawinul
1932 - 2007
keyboard
's "In A Silent Way" that sounds closer to the original heard on Zawinul (Atlantic, 1971) than it does under Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
' treatment. His approach here is quite sentimental, but more affectionate than nostalgic.

He runs through a touching version of Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
1922 - 1979
bass, acoustic
' "Good Bye Pork Pie Hat" that conjures the Lester Young
Lester Young
Lester Young
1909 - 1959
saxophone
that composer had in mind, extrapolating a classical feel to his improvisation. John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
'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's "Redemption Song," he presents the song with childlike innocence and a knowing faithfulness of hope.

Track Listing: In a Silent Way; I’d Rather Be With You; Alabama; Good Bye Pork Pie Hat; Light On Water; Ooh Child; Samba Pa Ti; Realm of Sight; I Wanna Go Outside In the Rain; Wings; Redemption Song.

Personnel: Bernie Worrell: piano.

Record Label: M.o.d. Technologies


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.