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Meshell Ndegeocello Starts ‘Virgo’ Season Early With New Song Off ‘The Omnichord Real Book’

Celebrated singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello is back with a new song, “Virgo.” The single will appear on her first album of all new material in nearly a decade, The Omnichord Real Book, out June 16 via Blue Note.

“Virgo” is a slinky, eight-minute jazz-soul epic that blends everything from disco guitar and plucky synths to atmospheric washes of sound and a bit of ethereal harp: “They’re calling me back to the stars,” Ndegeocello sings. “Deep outer space, they’re calling me.” 

The Omnichord Real Book follows Ndegeocello’s 2018 covers album, Ventriloquism, but it’s her first LP of original material since 2014’s Comet, Come to Me. Ndegeocello did drop an original song, “True Vine,” in 2019, and in 2021 helmed the theme music for the Netflix series, We the People; she also linked up with Robert Glasper and H.E.R. for the 2020 single “Better Than I Imagined.”

The Omnichord Real Book was produced by Josh Johnson and features contributions from numerous artists, including Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Joel Ross, Jeff Parker, Brandee Younger, Julius Rodriguez, Mark Guiliana, Cory Henry, Joan As Police Woman, and Thandiswa.

In a statement, Ndegeocello described the new album as “a little bit of all of me, my travels, my life. My first record I made at 22, and it’s over 30 years from then, so I have a lot of stored information to share.” She added that the pandemic lockdown gave her the opportunity to “really sit and reacquaint myself with music.” 


Ndegeocello also spoke about how the album was very much inspired by the way her relationship with the past changed after the deaths of her parents. “This album is about the way we see old things in new ways,” she explained. “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.”

The Omnichord Real Book Track List
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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