There is something sensual, guttural, and wonderfully calming about the bass. As a child, I was always fascinated by how the bassist in jazz bands always seemed to be the funkiest, even when playing the upright bass, which forces one to be relatively static on stage – not really something you can fling around. And then bands and musicians like George Clinton’s Parliament Funkadelic, Sly & The Family Stone, Con Funk Shun, Ohio Players and Bootsy Collins, that bass funk went a whole different level.
This is what drew me to Meshell Ndegeocello who has been one of my favourite musicians since I first heard Dred Loc on her 1993 debut album Plantation Lullabies, which also featured If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night).
But, the bass foundation isn’t what has kept me a fan, rather the beauty of her songwriting and the unwillingness to be limited in her influences, the sounds that she explores, etc.
Since that first album, she has never disappointed. I get immense joy from putting her entire discography on shuffle and submerging myself fully in her creativity. This discography consists of (as per Wikipedia):
- Peace Beyond Passion (1996)
- Bitter (1999)
- Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape (2002)
- Comfort Woman (2003)
- The Spirit Music Jamia: Dance Of The Infidel (2005)
- The World Has Made Me The Man Of My Dreams (2007)
- Devil’s Halo (2009)
- Weather (2011)
- Pour une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone (2012)
And she’s just added to that wonderful body of work with Comet, Come To Me, released earlier this year and, in October, posted a mini-documentary that takes you on a journey into her work. If you are a fan, a must-watch.