Meshell Ndegeocello Takes Us On An Astral Journey With ‘Virgo’ & Announces New Album ‘The Omnichord Real Book’

Photo Credit: Charlie Gross

Meshell Ndegeocello last released an album in 2018 when she dropped off her covers set Ventriloquism. The singer-songwriter has not released any new music personally since, although she’s popped up on collaborations like the GRAMMY-winning song “Better Than I Imagined” with Robert Glasper and H.E.R. She’s set to break that five-year drought this summer with the release of her 13th studio album The Omnichord Real Book. Ahead of its arrival, she’s giving us our first listen with the experimental sound of lead single “Virgo.”

Meshell has become known for her constant bending and rearranging of genre, and “Virgo” (not to be confused with her The world has made me the man of my dreams track of the same name) continues in this tradition. The nearly-nine-minute track incorporates bits of jazz, funk, rock, spoken word and more into an amalgam that is mesmerizing in its scope. It’s all held together by Meshell”s constant refrain, on which she sings, “They’re calling me / Back to the stars / Deep outer space.”

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Accompanying her on her journey are harpist Brandee Younger and Julius Rodriguez on the Farfisa organ, both of whom get their moments to shine here. As does drummer Abe Rounds, who morphs the rhythm arrangement at will before taking the song over with a literal bang as it comes to a close.

The veteran artist’s collaboration with musicians of all generations may point to the artistic direction of the album. “This album is about the way we see old things in new ways,” she said in a press release. “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.”

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The Omnichord Real Book is set to arrive on June 16th and will bring with it a host of collaborators — including Cory Henry, Jason Moran, Joan As Policewoman, Thandiswa and many others. Listen to “Virgo” when you press play and then head below to see the album cover and the full tracklist for the upcoming project.

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Photo Credit: Blue Note Records

Meshell Ndegeocello The Omnichord Real Book tracklist:

1. Georgia Ave (feat. Josh Johnson)
2. An Invitation
3. Call The Tune
4. Good Good (feat. Jade Hicks, Josh Johnson)
5. Omnipuss
6. Clear Water (feat. Deantoni Parks, Jeff Parker, Sanford Biggers)
7. ASR (feat. Jeff Parker)
8. Gatsby (feat. Cory Henry, Joan As Police Woman)
9. Towers (feat. Joel Ross)
10. Perceptions (feat. Jason Moran)
11. THA KING (feat. Thandiswa)
12. Virgo (feat. Brandee Younger, Julius Rodriguez)
13. Burn Progression (feat. Hanna Benn, Ambrose Akinmusire)
14. oneelevensixteen
15. Vuma (feat. Thandiswa, Joel Ross)
16. The 5th Dimension (feat. The Hawtplates)
17. Hole In The Bucket (feat. The Hawtplates)
18. Virgo 3 (feat. Oliver Lake (Arr.), Mark Guiliana, Brandee Younger, Josh Johnson)

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