Mercurial and masterful, Meshell Ndegeocell 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.
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 "Comet, Come To Me." Meshell composed, arranged and produced a jazz record in 2005 and recorded an homage to Nina Simone, a kindred musical spirit and among Meshell’s most cherished inspirations. finds her returning to the same well of creativity that launched her career. Her 12th release, "Ventriloquism," earned her her 10th GRAMMY® nomination and carries the hallmarks of all her work: lush, vocal, seeking, wise, collaborative and driven by the signature bounce and precise pocket of Ndegeocello on bass. Assured of her place as an authentic musical thinker and an uncompromising artist, Meshell’s investigation of sound, her reimagining of other’s music afford not just a new musical experience but remind us to defy the narrow expectations of sounds and structures for black artists and black music overall.
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 Medes- ki, 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 writes the music, sings the songs and leads the band.