‘Funkentelechy,’ Bernie Worrell



Meryl Streep plays singer-guitarist Ricki Rendazzo in the new movie, “Ricki and the Flash.” And the band The Flash is played by an unlikely all-star group, including Rick Springfield, the frequent Neil Young collaborator Rick Rosas (who died last year) and New Jersey’s own Bernie Worrell.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Worrell — who was born in Long Branch, grew up in Plainfield and now lives in Lebanon Township (though he is planning to move to Washington state) — is best known as the visionary synthesizer player in George Clinton’s Parliament and Funkadelic bands in the ’70s. More than anyone else, he was responsible for those bands’ stunning assortments of wild sounds. But he was also a key collaborator of Talking Heads in the ’80s (he played on their Speaking in Tongues album and appears in their classic concert movie, “Stop Making Sense) and has engaged in a nonstop series of adventurous solo and collaborative projects since splitting with Clinton.

Below, he and his Woo Orchestra, who play funk with the exploratory spirit of a jam band, stretch out on the song “Funkentelechy” — originally from the 1977 Parliament album, Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome — at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday last year. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are marking the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.

If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.

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