Issue #94 - Digital Cover

Published on March 17th, 2016 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson

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Media Blast: Meshell Ndegeocello

Ndegeocello Godmother of Neo-Soul continues international movement

Saying the name Meshell Ndegeocello brings to mind the birth and explosion of the celebrated neo-soul movement. The name is also eternally tied with master level fusion of sound using the bass guitar. She’s been know to throw down with a rap or two as well for example her appearance on Madonna’s I’d Rather be Your Lover on which she also played bass.

For those who love to discuss the intricacies of creating “forever music,” Ndegeocello provides plenty of material. With 10 GRAMMY nominations, she has played a part in music that has moved an entire industry and garnered the respect of her peers. As a singer-songwriter, rapper, bassist, and vocalist, Ndegeocello has successfully meshed with performers from all spectrums.

Her biggest hit thus far is her duet with John Mellencamp on a cover of Van Morrison’s Wild Night. The song hit number 3 on the Billboard charts. Her next big Billboard chart topper was her joint If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night) which hit number 73 though as a guest performer, she appears throughout music charts regularly.

As an activist and humanitarian, most notably via the Red Hot Organization, Ndegeocello has collaborated with the likes of U2, Yerba Buena and Herbie Hancock for various causes including peace in the Congo.

Sonically, her music masterfully blends a large variety of musical influences including Funk, Jazz, Hip-Hop, reggae and plays a plethora of instruments most notably of course bass guitar, but she rocks the keys, drums and guitar as well. It would be unfair NOT to include her voice as an instrument as well since she so dynamically makes use of tiber, intonation and delivers some of the most rock solid harmonic and melodic partnerships in music.

With her latest full length project, Comet, Come to me released on 2014 Naïve records, I believe it’s safe to say Ndegeocello refreshed her standing as an eternal powerhouse in music. Lyrical videos for the singles Conviction and title track Comet, Come to Me continue to log nearly 1,000 plays a week on YouTube according to Billboard powered Next Big Sound, which is also partnered with web radio giant Pandora.

Currently,  Ndegeocello is touring including a sold out stop for the Women’s Jazz Festival in New York at the Schomburg Center (Langston Hughes Auditorium) On March 21st, as she presents, Don’t  Let Me Be Misunderstood: The Works of Nina Simone. She is also participating internationally in master classes for aspiring musicians or anyone with a true appreciation for good music, the Cape Town (South Africa) International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) which presents up close and personal Master Classes with some of this year’s most exciting artists.

This event is well received each year and 2016 is expected to be no exception with an incredible line-up of artists lend their knowledge and expertise to local fans. Partnered this year with Victor Wooten , Meshell Ndegeocello will lead a Master Class for bass players entitled ‘Bass has its place’ on Friday 1st April 2016 at the Cape Sun Hotel.

If you feel like jet setting, you can also catch Meshell on tour through out France and other parts of Europe beginning April 2nd. Stay in tuned with this international superstar via her official site www.meshell.com

Wondering what’s she’s all about? Check out this min-doc “Comet Come to Me: A Journey into Mushell’s Work:

Discography

1993 Plantation Lullabies Maverick
1996 Peace Beyond Passion Maverick
1999 Bitter Maverick
2002 Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape Maverick
2003 Comfort Woman Maverick
2005 The Spirit Music Jamia: Dance of the Infidel Shanachie
2007 The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams EmArcy
2009 Devil’s Halo Downtown
2011 Weather Naïve
2012 Pour une Ame Souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone Naïve
2014 Comet, Come to Me Naïve


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