Things are changing.
It’s been a while since my wife, and I saw MeShell Ndegeocello. . . Round late 90s—early 2000s at the TLA.
So, this is going to be a very, very special night at the Ardmore Music Hall. MeShell’s on BlueNote along with some very noted and great Jazz giants; and we all know “how MeShell does”—so this plans to be some sophisticated “Funkyness,” tonight. . .
Opening up for the show, Black Buttafly came in, “funking up the place”—with meaty grooves so thick—you could sink your teeth in; and believe me, that stuff was mentally appetizing!
They were taking funky giant steps, giving funka-lessons with Spoken Word episodes; Backed-up with large bass leaps followed by keyboard trips and snare slaps. Buttafly’s chords were soulful and colorful, spittin’ at times, like Hip-Hop with fusion-like interludes.
- A pastel collage with deep blues and purples.
- Bass growling in between the colors.
- Somewhat like a daydream, with lyrical content. Funky!
- A Black Experience in Music.
- Stories. . . Stories. . . A lot of visual projection, using words.
[Technically, the bass end window was a bit muffled and somewhat distorted for some of this set]
Nazir Ebo on bass,
Steve McKey, drums.
That paved the way, for the deeply awaited Funkateer, MeShell Ndegeocello, with a Syncho system-like sound:
- With heavy rhythmic percussion. Tambourine. Drums. Staccato.
- Almost Samba-like with chants, Spoken word poetry and song. Drumset comes crashing in, with snare and hi-hat. Marching; Marching, driving.
- MeShell hit us with something new.
- On the keyboards… hypnotizing.
Looking like a griot, Ndegeocello lays down the path, with her voice alone. Spinning yarn after yarn with rhythmic sounds. That was the theme tonight, chanting and astro-traveling; taking the crowd on a funky journey with no room to spare. Standing room only. . .
Rolling with the rhythm. Chanting and scatting. Weaving a spell, with ambient sounds and echoes.
- Wave after wave of powerful sound. Traveling. Sounding a bit House in spots.
- Using our Black retro like Hip-Hop DJs… but this is live!
- With such funky bass. A huge “shed,” with kats coming in and out. It was a wonderful vibe.
- A little reminiscent of Progressive, Fusion, Afro-centric, and the days of Caravanserai…But more
Then the group switched it up, with a soulful bass solo, genius. Bringing in Funky vocals and Bluesy groans; taking us all along for the ride.
What a broad picture! Chimes and bells, accenting the music.
At times it sounded like Fusion. But different.
Great guitar work with grinding bass. Rolling right up into Jazz interludes.
An eclectic journey. Love that wah-wah and keyboards.
Justin Hicks on Afrikan-like vocals; Southern singing soul. We want the Funk! Group Ndegeocello didn’t disappoint. . . Great show!
Abe Rounds, drums
Justin Hicks, vocals
Chris Bruce, guitar
Jason Moran, keyboards
MeShell Ndegeocello, vocals, bass, keyboard