Meshell Ndegeocello bio

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Meshell Ndegeocello bio
Meshell Ndegeocello Bio
For new album, Comet, Come to Me
(June 3 release on Naive Records)
Mercurial and masterful, Meshell Ndegeocello has survived the best and worst of what a career in
music has to offer. She has eschewed genre for originality, celebrity for longevity, and musicals
trends for musical truths. She has lived through the boom and bust of the industry and emerged
just as she entered - unequivocally herself. Fans have come to expect the unexpected from
Meshell, and faithfully followed her on sojourns into soul, spoken word, R&B, jazz, hip-hop, rock,
all bound by a lyrical, spiritual search for love, justice, respect, resolution, and happiness.
Groove driven, infectiously melodic and lyrically meditative, Meshell’s latest album, Comet, Come
To Me, finds her returning to the same well of creativity that launched her career. Her 11th
release, it is possibly a culmination of all previous work: lush, vocal, seeking, wise, collaborative,
and driven by the signature bounce and precise pocket of Ndegeocello on bass. The
album features special guests Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) and Doyle Bramhall, along
with long-time collaborators Christopher Bruce (guitar) and Jebin Bruni (keys), and Earl Harvin on
drums. Assured of her place as an authentic musical thinker and an uncompromising artist,
Comet continues to discover, examine, and explore all that music has to offer her and how she
can return the gift.
“Comet, Come To Me was a little labor but a lot of love. It was made with my favorite
collaborators, and it felt good to channel the sounds in my mind after having Nina in residence for
a while,” ” says Meshell, referencing her last album, a tribute to Nina Simone. She is especially
inspired by the collaborative process that comes with making an album. “When I’m writing songs
and recording the demos, I’m having my own awesome experience in my attic, or on a plane, or
in a hotel room, just making my beats on my laptop. Then I get together with these people that I
have an intimate musical relationship with, and we bring the songs to life.”
In addition to the twelve new tracks on Comet, Come to Me (15 including the bonus tracks
available on her website), fans of Meshell’s will no doubt be intrigued by her cover of Whodini’s
“Friends”, a seminal hip-hop track originally released in 1984. Commenting on her inspiration for
choosing this song, Meshell explains: “I play with a lot of people who play improvisational music
and jazz, and I thought it would be fun to take something that they might think of as easy or
straight-forward, and do something different with it. I also like how language is morphing, and
'friends' is such a malleable word, I don't even know what it means anymore.”
***
A vast array of influences have informed all of Meshell’s albums, and there are traces of her
native go-go, hip hop, R&B, new wave and punk in each. Each album has been a step away from
the last, each used as a chance to investigate and integrate new sounds and ideas, and fans
have been treated to everything from the deep-funk of Plantation Lullabies to the raw and
confessional Bitter to the melodic, lyrical Weather. Possessed with instrumental gifts as diverse
as her interests, Meshell composed, arranged and produced a jazz record in 2005. Her most
recent release paid homage to Nina Simone, a kindred musical spirit and among Meshell's most
cherished inspirations.
In addition to her own recording, Meshell has been expanding her repertoire as a producer,
producing three albums in the past year: British/Trinidadian poet and musician Anthony Joseph's
new album, Time; Jason Moran's Fats Waller Tribute, All Rise: A Joyful Elegy For Fats Waller
(due Sept 2014); and a new album by Grammy-nominated Ruthie Foster, also set for release this
fall.
A bass player above all else, Meshell brings her warm, fat, and melodic groove to everything she
does and has appeared alongside the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Alanis Morrisette, James Blood
Ulmer, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Tony Allen, John Medeski, Billy Preston, and Chaka Khan. As
for her own bass-playing influences, she credits Sting, Jaco Pastorius, Family Man Barrett, and
Stevie Wonder. Meshell was the first woman to be featured on the cover of Bass Player
magazine and remains one of few women who write the music, sing the songs, and lead the band.
Discography
1993
1996
1999
2002
2003
2005
2007
2009
2011
2012
2014
Plantation Lullabies
Peace Beyond Passion
Bitter
Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape
Comfort Woman
The Spirit Music Jamia: Dance of the Infidel
The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams
Devil’s Halo
Weather
Pour une Ame Souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone
Comet, Come to Me
Maverick
Maverick
Maverick
Maverick
Maverick
Shanachie
EmArcy
Downtown
Naïve
Naïve
Naïve