Friday, April 12, 2024

#673 : Bernie Worrell - Wave From the WOOniverse (


2024 – Org Music

By Phillip Smith; April 12, 2024

Original source :


Funkadelic’s Uncle Jam Wants You was released while I was in my senior year of high school. I absolutely loved that album. It led me to record stores in search of more music by this wonderous band. Bernie Worrell (April 19, 1944 – June 14, 2016) was an integral part of the P-Funk family, and over the years his name appeared on many albums I purchased. Wave From the WOOniverse, a posthumous release produced by former Bernie Worrel Orchestra bandleader Evan Taylor is a double album set to be released on Record Store Day April 20. From unfinished works extending over twenty years old, the thirteen tracks on this album are brought to life by artists Worrell had worked with or had been friends with. 

After being lulled into the record with the piano-laced spacy “Intro (Reflections on a Bird)”, Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads) guides the listener into the beyond with a motherlode of funk on “Distant Star”. To hear the Bootsy Collins’ voice break out in “What Have They Done to My Funk” absolutely puts a smile on my face. And for the win, the song also includes Michael Moon Reuben, Bootsy’s son Ouiwey Collins , and Buckethead who absolutely tears it up on guitar. Leo Nocentelli, Fred Wesley and Stanton Moore create a wonder funky jam with “Heapin’ Bowl of Gumbo”. It’s absolutely fantastic. With an intro that sounds like a long-missing instrumental of 2001 A Space Odyssey, “Re-Enter Black Light” eventually takes a high-tech turn into a pulsating space-age rave. Sean Ono Lennon appears on bass guitar for this hypnotic groove. I was overjoyed to hear Fred Schneider on “The Big WOO”. If the B-52’s ever joined with Funkadelic, this is what it would sound like. I’d love to hear an entire album featuring this musical two-fer which also included Marco Benevento on keys and Steve Scales on percussion. My heart skipped a few beats when I first heard “Contusion” performed by Funkadelic with none other than Eddie Hazel on guitar. This previously recorded and unissued Funkadelic song is a mind-bender. Wave From the WOOniverse comes to an funky heart-warming end with its title track. For the closer, Miho Hatori lends her rapping mastery with Sarah La Puerta on lead vocals and Steve Scales on percussion.

Wave From the WOOniverse is everything I hoped it would be and a whole lot more. I’ll treasure this album for a long, long time.  


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