• Meshell Ndegeocello

In his liner notes to Weather (Naïve), the latest album from singer, songwriter, and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, producer Joe Henry writes, “I marvel at musicians and songwriters who sustain careers over decades and yet remain steadfastly outside of genre constrictions and assumptions.” That assessment certainly applies to Ndegeocello, who since emerging in 1993 with her classic Plantation Lullabies (Maverick) has changed the focus of her music repeatedly—she’s made hard funk, modern soul, rock, jazz, singer-songwriter fare, and more. Yet she’s always instantly recognizable: her deep, mysterious voice, her virtuosic musicianship, her enigmatic songwriting. Her melodies are always full of surprises and her lyrics fearless.