The Omnichord Real Book Meshell Ndegeocello
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- 1Georgia Ave02:39
- 2An Invitation02:20
- 3Call The Tune01:54
- 4Good Good03:28
- 6Clear Water04:35
- 11THA KING00:27
- 13Burn Progression04:02
- 16The 5th Dimension05:24
- 17Hole In The Bucket05:30
- 18Virgo 306:53
Info for The Omnichord Real Book
Acclaimed GRAMMY-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note Records debut with the June 16 release of The Omnichord Real Book, a visionary and deeply jazz-influenced album that marks the start of a new chapter in her trailblazing career. Following her 2018 covers album Ventriloquism, Meshell returns with an album of new original material that taps into a broad spectrum of her musical roots. The Omnichord Real Book was produced by Josh Johnson and features a wide range of guest artists including Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joel Ross, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Julius Rodriguez, Mark Guiliana, Cory Henry, Joan As Police Woman, Thandiswa, and others.
The Omnichord Real Book is introduced today by the expansive lead single “Virgo,” the mind-altering 8-minute centerpiece of the album which features Meshell on vocals, key bass, and keyboards, Younger on harp, Rodriguez on Farfisa organ, Chris Bruce on guitar, Jebin Bruni on keyboards, drums by Abe Rounds, Deantoni Parks, and Andrya Ambro, and additional vocals by Kenita Miller and Marsha DeBoe.
“It’s a little bit of all of me, my travels, my life,” says Meshell. “My first record I made at 22, and it’s over 30 years from then, so I have a lot of stored information to share.” Reflecting on the impact that the forced stillness of the pandemic lockdown had on her, she says “I must admit it was a beautiful time for me. I got to really sit and reacquaint myself with music. Music is a gift.”
“This album is about the way we see old things in new ways,” Meshell explains. “Everything moved so quickly when my parents died. Changed my view of everything and myself in the blink of an eye. As I sifted through the remains of their life together, I found my first Real Book, the one my father gave me. I took their records, the ones I grew up hearing, learning, remembering. My mother gifted me with her ache, I carry the melancholy that defined her experience and, in turn, my experience of this thing called life calls me to disappear into my imagination and to hear the music.”
Meshell first appeared on a Blue Note record a decade ago with her stunning feature on “The Consequences of Jealousy” from Robert Glasper’s GRAMMY-winning 2012 album Black Radio. Two years later she collaborated with Jason Moran on ALL RISE, a vibrant reimagination of Fats Waller’s music where Meshell was both featured vocalist and producer. Reflecting upon time spent with her parents’ record collection during her childhood, Meshell recalls “I loved going through the records and seeing the Blue Note insignia. I stay away from the word ‘Jazz,’ it’s a really heavy word, but I am so moved to be on a label that is about self-expression.”
Meshell Ndegeocello, vocals
Jeff Parker, solo guitar
Deantoni Parks, drums
Julius Rodriguez, clavinet, Hammond B3 organ
Chris Bruce, bass, wah-guitar, vocals
Josh Johnson, saxophone, vocals
Sanford Biggers, vocals
Justin Hicks, vocals
Jebin Bruni, vocals
Abe Rounds, vocals, percussion
Following the release of 2011′s critically acclaimed Weather, Meshell Ndegeocello announces the release of her 10th studio album, Pour une âme souveraine (“For a sovereign soul”), a dedication to fellow musician Nina Simone. Joined by musicians Chris Bruce (guitar), Jebin Bruni (keys) and Deantoni Parks (drums), the singer-songwriter, rapper, bassist, and vocalist reworked some of the tracks made famous by the iconic musician. Guests on the album include Sinead O’Connor, Lizz Wright, Valerie June, Tracy Wannomae, Toshi Reagon and Cody ChesnuTT. To celebrate the release of the album, Meshell is sharing the iconic track “Be My Husband,” which just premiered on NPR. Flush with stomps, claps and chants, Meshell is accompanied on vocals by New York singer-songwriter Valerie June.
After only ten days in the studios of guitarist Pete Min, this album was born, reflecting Meshell’s admiration for the pioneering work of an artist who refused to be owned by genre, industry, or expectation. As Meshell describes, this album is “a dedication to Nina Simone and her incredible influence but it is also a dedication to the single, interior life we all experience.” Revered by Meshell, Nina Simone was a powerful influence both musically and politically. Her music was highly instrumental in the fight for equal rights in the United States. “She wanted success, was pressured to make hits, but her own sound was still irrepressible,” explains Meshell. “She had things to say, she protested. She was a loud, proud black, female voice during a time when black female voices were not encouraged to make themselves heard.”
Comprised of a mix of traditional classics (“Feelin’ Good”), songs written by Nina Simone (“Real Real”), or for her (“To Be Young, Gifted and Black” by Weldon Irvine), the album represents a full spectrum of Nina Simone’s work and life. From the pulsing of the traditional ballad “House Of The Rising Sun,” the velvety, soul filled vocals of “Feeling Good,” and a bluegrass duet with Sinead O’Connor in “Don’t Take All Night,” Meshell Ndegeocello gives a subtle spin to the tracks off the Pour une âme souveraine.
“We really wanted to do something we felt was true to Nina Simone. By that realizing it meant we had to do what felt true to us,” says Chris Bruce, who co-produced the album along with Meshell and wrote the arrangements. “The aim was not to re-create the existing versions, because we felt strongly that the only way to honor Nina would be for Meshell to find her own voice in the material. Nina was always exploring and experimenting, and quite cathartic. If you are familiar with her work at all you will frequently find that there exist multiple versions of the same song. So we wanted to tap into that same creative spirit and make the songs our own. And in the end hopefully have something we feel she would appreciate and feel pride.”
This album contains no booklet.