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Dance of the infidels



Avantgarde soul

Bass player Meshell Ndegeocello follows her own path. Besides guest appearances with David Bowie and other well known musicians, she has since her debut in 1993 released solo albums every three years, on the borderline between funk, soul and avantgarde. Most well-known is Peace Beyond Passion from í96.

This time, she takes a big leap towards jazz and has already received considerable attention within the jazz circuit with Dance Of The Infidels. Not only because of guests like Jack DeJohnette, Mino Cinelu, Oliver Lake, Kenny Garrett etc but especially because itís a very exciting record with a unique sound.

On many of the tracks Meshell is not playing the bass, instead this is taken care of byMatthew Garrison (Jimmyís son) or sometimes by both of them together. But she has produced, composed, programmed, inviting this combination of musicians, thus creating her futuristic sound. Three vocalists, among them Cassandra Wilson, sing one tune each, the rest are instrumentals. For example Cooking with Gene Lake, son of Oliver but more known for his alert drumming on the borderline of funk, bop and avantgarde with, among others, Steve Coleman.

This is a wonderful example of what can happen when you open the doors between the different rooms in the large house of music. Tones and rhythms are pouring out, mixing, making all meaningless labels just blow away in the wind...


Annika Westman

Published in Lira Magazine #4/2005