It happens so fast.
Too fast. The shelf life of a new release has gone from a year, to a few months, to just a few weeks in the blink of an eye. This added to the seemingly endless outpouring of shallow and vapid releases makes it extremely hard for the true music lover to be aware of anything worth value in the modern music marketplace.
Yes, great music by great artists is being recorded and released all the time, but being noticed above the din of mediocrity has become the real task at hand. Creativity be damned, “if a tree falls in the forest…”, well, I think you get my point.
So, as we move further away from the thunder of all that “post Grammy back-slapping”, I would like to make an announcement…
There is a masterpiece in our midst. An important work by two of the most forward thinking artists of the last 5 generations,
Legendary producer Bill Laswell and the Incomparable Bernie Worrell.
For those of you not familiar with Mr. Worrell’s legacy, I’ll just state the simple facts: He is a founding member and essential collaborator/composer/arranger in George Clinton’s Parliament/Funkadelic, has worked with an extremely diverse array of artists, the amount of which is practically inconceivable -Talking Heads, Bootsy Collins, The Rolling Stones, Lee “Scratch”Perry, Black Uhuru, Fela Kuti, Burning Spear, Pharoah Sanders, Buddy Guy, Sly & The Family Stone, Mos Def, Albert King, Sly & Robbie and so many more. He is without a doubt, the most influential and definitely the most emulated and copied electronic keyboardist in modern music. His synthesizer work totally defined 80’s and 90’s West coast Hip Hop and can still be clearly recognized in the pop hits of today.
ELEVATION is Mr. Worrell’s first solo acoustic creation: Intimate, personal, atmospheric and touching, a humble statement which is both vulnerable and surprisingly child-like at moments. This is clearly the most unexpected and uniquely unusual contribution from this musical icon to date. Songs and themes (some recognizable… some as dreams) will appear as flashbacks and memories, some conscious, some subconscious. Based upon simple themes by John Coltrane, Joe Zawinul, Bob Marley, Carlos Santana, Charles Mingus and others. With delicate impressions of classic soul music from his own history, and three original ambient soundscapes delivered with a strikingly minimalist touch, Worrell’s ELEVATION is breathtaking.
In a recent interview with revolutionary Ikonoklast Bill Laswell for this article, he spoke of the lineage from which the three original soundscapes (and much of the overall “vibe” of ELEVATION) emerged. He referred to it as: “Black Ambient”.
“This music has to be felt, not analyzed, compared, judged or even listened to. It exists in the distance… past and future. Its’ roots go as far back as Miles Davis’ “In a silent way”. It’s beyond music. It’s part of the fabric. It’s Culture”.
Culture indeed. ELEVATION’S sensitive meditations on such
R & B classics as “Ooh Child” (The Five Stairsteps), “I Wanna Go Outside in the Rain” (The Dramatics), and Bootsy Collin’s, “I’d Rather Be With You” (Worrell played on the original Version), mixed with compositions by Charles Mingus (“Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”), John Coltrane (“Alabama”), and Carlos Santana (“Samba Pa ti”) make for an unforgettable listening experience.
“Black to the future” for sure!
Bernie Worrell: Elevation (The Upper Air)
Produced by legendary ikonoklast,
Bill Laswell, with original artwork by
Japan’s modern master – Shinro Otake.
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1985 (Volume 17, Number 1)
Creem, at this point, seemed to be looking for new feeding hands to bite.
US Top Ten Albums Tracking 3-10-23 – 3-16-23
a potential top album of the year.
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Refreshingly honest and considerate
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can they survive an entire album?
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Fleet Foxes are at the Belasco on Wednesday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1985 (Volume 16, Number 12)
highlighting hair metal bands simply to make fun of them was more amusing than profitable
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In the US, Morgan will be pushing Miley out in a week or two but in the UK…?
A Superhero For Late Night TV Is On The Way
On his way to save the day… and the night
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How is Vividseats able to get around this technical problem?
Taylor Swift Began Her Latest World Tour Yesterday in Arizona… Here is the setlist
she really underrepresented her first ten years