Grooves & Samples #42: Bernie Worrell – All the Woo in the World (1978)

Grooves & Samples offers a dive into old crates of jazz, funk & soul, to find more music through hip hop.

Few keyboardists have been as influential and central to the legacy and image of a band as Bernie Worrell. One of the founding members of Parliament-Funkadelic alongside George Clinton, Bernie Worrell has been essential to the growth of the group and has had success as a solo artist through his 1978 debut album All the Woo in the World, which features members from the P-Funk movement.

Words: Martin Boev (In Search Of Media)

Bernie was a co-writer on both Parliament and Funkadelic, involved in horn and key arrangements on many of their hit songs over the years, further collaborating with the likes of Bootsy Collins, Talking Heads, and Fela Kuti. His contributions to music have been celebrated throughout the years by producers through sampling, including the likes of Madlib, 9th Wonder, The Coup, and Strong Arm Steady.

It was on the track “Knock Knock” with MED and Blu featuring MF DOOM that Madlib sampled Bernie Worrell’s “I’ll Be With You” off his debut album. Funky, soulful and beautiful, Madlib keeps the raw aesthetic of the original. Barely touching it, only looping it throughout and adding a few extra drums. This gives a smooth soundscape for Blu, MED and MF DOOM to spit their usually dense lyrics on.

You still feel the raw power of the original, with Bernie’s off-kilter singing, the subtle but powerful keys and the incredible bass all over the record”

You still feel the raw power of the original, with Bernie’s off-kilter singing, the subtle but powerful keys and the incredible bass all over the record. The rhythm on this track just captures all the funk and vibes that make it such a joy to listen to.

On 9th Wonder’s 2016 album Zion, he sampled “Hold On,” off Bernie Worrell’s debut album, by looping it and adding layers of smooth and West Coast inspired synths and his signature boom-bap beat that just ripples through your heart emphatically. The energy that 9th Wonder brings to his production brings such captivating grooves and showcases just why he is one of the greatest producers of all time.

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