Meshell Ndegeocello makes her Blue Note debut with the visionary new album, The Omnichord Real Book, featuring a wide range of guest artists including Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joan As Police Woman, and more.
Following her 2018 covers album, Ventriloquism, Meshell Ndegeocello returns with an album of original material that taps into a broad spectrum of her musical roots. The Omnichord Real Book is a deeply jazz-influenced work that marks the start of a new chapter in her trailblazing career. The record 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 mind-altering eight-minute centerpiece of the album and lead single,“Virgo,” 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.”
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.”