Rehearsal: Brian Jordan, Bernie Worrell & George Porter Jr. 1.23.11
Words & Photos By J-man
Video By Carly Marthis
Being on the scene for approximately ten years, it takes a lot to blow one away. A lot of magic happens on this scene of ours, so it takes a really special experience to sweep us off of our feet. On a chilly Sunday evening in January, I was swept off of my feet and dropped on cloud nine...
A short time ago I became involved with the Bernie Worrell camp, helping with promotions, social networking and some minor publicity. That being said, when I heard that this show was coming together at Cervantes, I was really excited! Brian Jordan, George Porter Jr., Bernie Worrell, Dave Watts... What more could I ask for? The addition of Saxophonist/murder for hire, Pete Wall? Absolutely.
Carly and I arrived at the venue around five o'clock for rehearsal and found a table near the entrance and side of the stage. Slowly the musicians took the stage and began sound checking and working on their levels. About an hour into us being at Cervantes, I noticed that Bernie still hadn't arrived. I glanced at my phone to check the time and to make sure that Bernie didn't call.
"I'm going to call him if I don't hear from him in the next thirty minutes" I said to Carly.
Twenty minutes later George said "Where's Bernie?"
"I'll give him a call" I said, stepping out of the venue.
It turns out that whoever was responsible for Bernie's ride had forgotten, and Bernie had been waiting at his hotel for about an hour. I told him to hang tight and that I was on my way. I went back into the venue to inform George that I was going to get Bernie, and before I knew it Carly and I were on our way to pick up one of my idols from The Curtis Hotel in Downtown Denver.
Pulling up out front of the hotel we saw Bernie sitting on a bench smoking a cigarette, sporting a large furry hat and leather pants. We hopped out of the car, loaded his bag and we were on our way back to Cervantes. We pulled up out front of Cervantes and were greeted by one of the owners. He apologized for the confusion, thanked me and we headed into the venue. Everything stopped when Bernie walked in... It was a great feeling.
I helped Bernie get situated and the rehearsal was in full swing. Carly and I took pictures, filmed and I composed the last few questions for the evening's interviews. Based on what I heard during rehearsal, I was really excited for the actual show.
The rehearsal ended and I made arrangements for Bernie's dinner and headed back to eat with Carly and Pete. We talked about the scene and some of Pete's experiences musically. At some point Murray arrived and the party began. We headed over to the Masterpiece Ballroom's green room for our conversation with Bernie Worrell...
With the interview behind us, we headed back over to the Other Side of Cervantes. We walked up the staircase onto the stage, through the backstage curtains, and down two sets of stairs to the expansive green room. I asked Bernie if he needed anything else and Carly and I hung around backstage for a bit and conversed with Pete. I looked over and saw Dave Watts of the Motet drumming on his shoe...
After a short time we wandered back upstairs and the show began...