Music Reviews

Artist: Bernie Worrell
Title: Black Space Invocation
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Distributor: Bill Laswell
Rated: *****
We all come from darkness, and in being born awaken from it into light. Light gives us power not only to see, but also to listen, and to understand the infinity of its absence. In the warm embrace of the single track that is “Black Space Invocation,” it’s obvious keyboardist Bernie Worrell knew this truth in a way few other musicians could. What we have here is a life compressed into 13 minutes of inhalation and exhalation. Indeed, Worrell’s notecraft is pulmonary, absorbing the invisible and turning it into nourishment for the soul. It’s no coincidence, then, that his instrument should be called an “organ,” for it functions like an essential body part. Sustained chords fit into one another like veins and arteries, contracting and expanding with changes in melodic temperature. At the same time, however, the listener is taken out of body. Like the skeleton floating eclipse-ward in the music video for David Bowie’s “Blackstar,” it sheds the flesh in favor of awe, and gives itself to the ethereal rim between blindness and omniscience. It’s intimate process has been captured here, speaking only to those who would listen without judgment. Although no longer standing, Worrell continues to tread along the innermost pathways of our appreciation. His capacity for summoning makes us feel right at home, and with unforced resolution whispers back to us: “We all come from darkness, and in dying awaken from it into light.”

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