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Meshell Ndegeocello: Jamia Session

Meshell Ndegeocello has built a solid career in the socially conservative world of R&B by being a provocateur. She fearlessly sings about religious hypocrisy, homophobia and sexism, all in a dark, mellifluous voice. It also doesn’t hurt that Ndegeocello’s amorous rhapsodies often rival those of Prince in terms of salaciousness, and she can thump a mean electric bass as well, adding to her girls-kick-ass appeal.

Yet without making any overt political statements or singing about carnal lust, Ndegeocello makes her most courageous artistic move yet on the forthcoming CD The Spirit Music Jamia: Dance of the Infidel (Sunnyside), which is set for a mid-summer release. She eschews her randy art-funk in favor of tunes that emphasize her compositional and arranging skills. Only three of the eight songs feature vocals-and Ndegeocello doesn’t sing lead on any of them. Dance of the Infidel also features an amazing roster of jazz artists: Jack DeJohnette, Don Byron, Kenny Garrett, Wallace Roney, Oliver Lake and more.

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