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Most Recent Castaway - 11th April, 2014
Will Bernard (2014)

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Guitarist Will Bernard returns home to the Bay Area a major voice in our music. Long before becoming resident in Brooklyn (the mid '00s), he was a part of fellow Berkeley High alum Peter Apfelbaum's Hieroglyphics Ensemble.

Since those days, Will has been part of lot of boundary-stretching groups, including some projects under the direction of Lee Townsend. For example, he's played Hindustani-influenced music with Jai Uttal, and also political hip-hop with the group The Coup.

He and fellow-guitarist Charlie Hunter sported fezzes in the band T.J. Kirk, which melded the disparate music of Thelonious Monk, James Brown and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and which received a Grammy Nomination in 1997 for "If Four Was One"

The following year, Will recorded for the first time as a bandleader in his own right with the very funky "Medicine Hat". Following two releases on his own label Dreck to Disk (an example of Will's sense of humor), he got onto Palmetto Records, releasing "Party Hats"—also Grammy nominated—in 2007. "Blue Plate Special" followed, and then "Outdoor Living".

Will's latest is "Just Like Downtown" on Posi-Tone Records. The title is typical Will Bernard: a double—or perhaps triple—entendre.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Thelonious Monk Underground Boo Boo's Birthday Columbia
# 2 The Wynton Kelly Trio with Wes Montgomery Smokin' at the Half Note Unit 7 Verve
# 3 Ornette Coleman The Art of the Improvisers Moon Inhabitants Atlantic
# 4 James Booker Junco Partner Goodnight, Irene Hannibal
# 5 The Meters Doctors, Professors, Kings and Queens Hey Pocky A-Way Shout Factory
# 6 Duke Ellington The Far East Suite Isfahan RCA
# 7 Hariprasad Chaurasia The Fabulous Flute of Hariprasad Chaurasia Folklore (Uttar Pradesh) Chandra Dhara
# 8 Charles Ives Symphony No. 2, Central Park in the Dark, etc. Leonard Bernstein with the New York Philarmonic Central Park in the Dark Deutsche Grammophon
# 9 Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant Stratosphere Boogie: The Flaming Guitars of Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant Stratosphere Boogie Razor and Tie
         
Book Sogyal Rinpoche, "Tibetan Book of Living and Dying"
         
Luxury Item "A grand piano ... or an old Gibson guitar"