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Best Albums Of 2014, #20: Bernie Worrell's "Elevation"

Best Album Of 2014 #20

Best Album Of 2014 #20

I heard through a friend that Bernie was suffering from arthritis and it was painful for him to play keyboards now. And now that is a sad state of affairs because  if all Bernie had ever ever done was perform on One Nation Under A Groove  he would be a great. As it is the versatile funk guy who began his career with an early variant on Tavares before joining George Clinton before he had fully formed Parliament, stands as a master.

Elevation (The Upper Air) produced by another master, Bill Laswell, is a beautiful solo for piano re-arrangement of compositions by the likes of John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Bob Marley and if you love Miles Davis’ In A Silent Way (covered here). The pace is slow, deliberate, and bernie, who is light of hand, is very steady and steadfast in his delivery. He traces the melodies to their final resting place and plays beautiful, strongly projected keys that drift in and out of your consciousness.

Or it would if you actually listened to it, a tough sell and nobody bothered to sell it, so it seems to be as deep and strong and blue as a classical take on black music phenoms can be but also unheard of and hiding in plain sight of the world. released around the end of 2013, it is a lovely coda to a great career if Bernie decides the pain is too much to bear.

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