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Meshell Ndegeocello Shares New Single ‘Love’

The track also features on the artist’s forthcoming Blue Note album ‘No More Water: The Gospel Of James Baldwin’

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Meshell Ndegeocello - Photo: Andre Wagner

Meshell Ndegeocello has released the inspiriting new single “Love,” the second song to be revealed from her forthcoming Blue Note album No More Water: The Gospel Of James Baldwin: a striking homage to the eminent writer and activist James Baldwin to be released on August 2 on his Centennial. You can check the new track out below.

Ndegeocello will be marking the album release with a headline performance at the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival on August 2. Ndegeocello also performs songs from the new album on an upcoming Tiny Desk Concert coming soon as part of NPR Music’s Black Music Month celebration of Black women artists. Last month saw the release of the album’s opening track “Travel” paired with the searing spoken word piece “Raise The Roof” by poet Staceyann Chin.

No More Water is a visionary work that is at once a musical experience, a church service, a celebration, a testimonial, and a call to action. Ndegeocello has created a prophetic musical odyssey that transcends boundaries and genres, delving headfirst into race, sexuality, religion, and other recurring themes explored in Baldwin’s canon.

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Following 2023’s The Omnichord Real Book, her acclaimed Blue Note debut which won the inaugural Grammy Award for Best Alternative Jazz Album, the multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and producer renders an immersive and palpable document that is as sagacious, unabashed, and introspective as Baldwin was in life.

Co-produced by Ndegeocello and guitarist Chris Bruce, No More Water features some of the bassist’s frequent collaborators including Bruce, vocalist Justin Hicks, saxophonist (and Omnichord producer) Josh Johnson, keyboardist Jebin Bruni, and drummer Abe Rounds. Also appearing on various songs are vocalist Kenita-Miller Hicks, keyboardists Jake Sherman and Julius Rodriguez, and Executive Director of the NYCPS Arts Office and trumpeter Paul Thompson. The album also showcases powerful spoken word by venerated poet Staceyann Chin and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and critic Hilton Als.

Nearly a decade in the making, the album’s origins began in 2016 during a performance at The Harlem Stage Gatehouse as part of their annual showcase honoring Baldwin. Ndegeocello had delved into Baldwin’s work the year before, including the seminal nonfiction work The Fire Next Time, which she considers “life-changing” and carries with her as a “spiritual text.” Ndegeocello says, “It was just a revelation to me, and it softened my heart in so many ways.”

No More Water marks a significant moment of self-discovery for Ndegeocello. She adds that Baldwin entered her life at precisely the right time. “It came when I was ready to look in the mirror. I’ve had to play Plantation Lullabies at a few shows. Looking back, I had an interesting perspective, but the dialogue was limited. It was more like a cathartic experience for a young person of color, whereas now I’m going, ‘How can I get us all to love each other? How can I get us all to see this for what it is?’”

Pre-order No More Water: The Gospel Of James Baldwin.

MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO – TOUR DATES:

July 5 – Love Supreme Festival – East Sussex, United Kingdom
July 7 – Casa del Jazz – Rome, Italy
July 8 – Bremen Theater – Copenhagen, Denmark
July 10 – Marseille Jazz des Cinq Continents – Marseille, France
July 12-14 – North Sea Jazz Festival “Artist In Residence” – Rotterdam, Netherlands
July 16 – Jazz a Sete Festival – Sete, France
July 19 – Festival Jazz en Ville – Vannes, France
July 21 – Stuttgart Jazz Open Festival – Stuttgart, Germany
July 23 – Jazz in Marciac – Marciac, France
Aug. 2 – BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn – Brooklyn, NY
Aug. 4 – Newport Jazz Festival – Newport, RI
Aug. 7 – Denver Botanic Gardens – Denver, CO
Aug. 8 – Ravinia Festival – Highland Park, IL
Sept. 15 – New Mexico Jazz Festival – Santa Fe, NM
Sept. 16 – MIM – Phoenix, AZ
Sept. 20 – The Center for the Arts at the Armory – Somerville, MA
Sept. 21 – Empire State Plaza Performing Arts Center – Albany, NY
Sept. 22 – Wexner Center for the Arts – Columbus, OH
Sept. 26 – Infinite Dream Festival – Iowa City, IA
Sept. 28 – Wisconsin Union Theater – Madison, WI
Sept. 29 – Door Community Auditorium – Fish Creek, WI
Oct. 3 – World Café Live – Philadelphia, PA
Oct. 5 – The Music Center at Strathmore – North Bethesda, MD
Oct. 6 – New Jersey Performing Arts Center – Newark, NJ
Oct. 31 – JazzOnze+ Festival Lausanne – Lausanne, Switzerland
Nov. 1 – Enjoy Jazz-Alte Feuerwache – Mannheim, Germany
Nov. 3-4 – Stadtgarten Konzertsaal – Cologne, Germany
Nov. 6-7 – Musikbrauerei – Berlin, Germany
Nov. 9 – Rockit Festival – Groningen, Netherlands
Nov. 10 – Le Guess Who? Festival – Utrecht, Netherlands
Nov. 11 – De Roma – Antwerp, Belgium
Nov. 12-13 – New Morning – Paris, France
Nov. 15 – Koko – London, United Kingdom
Dec. 2-5 – Jazz Alley – Seattle, WA
Nov. 7 – Walter Art Center – Minneapolis, MN

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