Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Album of the Week - Plantation Lullabies, Me'shell Ndegéocello

One of my initial ideas with this blog was to have an “Album of the Week”, but up to this point I’ve been working on the other posts to get this thing off the ground and just kind of forgot about it.  But as I sat here grading some papers, and listening to tunes I found a great one to start with.

I’ll often close my eyes and spin my thumb a few times around the iPod wheel and just play whatever pops up.  Today it landed on an album I haven’t listened to for quite a few years.  Plantation Lullabies is Me’shell Ndegéocello’s debut album.  And while it may not be her absolute best work, it’s still a total gem.  It features a young Joshua Redman and Geri Allen, as well as Luis Conté, and legendary Motown guitarist Melvin “Wah-Wah Watson” Ragin (the “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” guy).

Released in 1993, it still has remnants of the New Jack Swing sound to it which will surely pique your nostalgia.  It also reminds me of some U.K. Acid Jazz, like 4Hero.  For those of you who dig Erykah Badu, The Roots, etc., but haven’t yet checked out Me’shell, start here.  There are some killer play-along grooves to work with; and by “some” I mean pretty much the whole album.

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