NOVEMBER 2013: Rosebud Artists Place High In DownBeat Readers Poll, Trombone Shorty Wins Best Trombonist, Bill Frisell #2 Best Guitarist
Ten Rosebud artists were ranked among the best musicians in the 78th Annual DownBeat Readers Poll (December 2013 Issue). Trombone Shorty won the Trombone category outright for the second year in a row, and he and his band, Orleans Avenue, placed in the top artists ranked for the Jazz Group category. Bill Frisell came in second in the Guitarist category (he won the category overall in the recent Downbeat critics poll for the fifth consecutive year and twelfth time in the past sixteen years!) and placed high in three additional categories: Jazz Artist, Composer, and Jazz Album of the Year (for Big Sur). Also scoring high in a variety of categories this year were some of Bill's recent collaborators including John Zorn, Gary Peacock, Kenny Wollesen, Brian Blade, Joey Baron, Eyvind Kang, Jenny Scheinman, Jason Moran, Charles Lloyd and Lee Konitz.
Multiple Rosebud artists took prominent spots in the Blues Artist or Group category, with Charlie Musselwhite, Marcia Ball and Duke Robillard as top contenders this year. Charlie also ranked in the top ten in the Blues Album category for Get Up!, his recent collaboration with Ben Harper. Also scoring in the Blues Album category was Jon Cleary for his album, Occapella, a collection of songs written by Rosebud artist Allen Toussaint. Toussaint himself was named in the Best Arranger category for the fourth consecutive year.
Meshell Ndegeocello was ranked in the Beyond Artist or Group category for the second year in a row as well as in the Electric Bass category, along with Robert Glasper Experiment bassist, Derrick Hodge, who Meshell appeared with on Glasper's album, Black Radio (2012).
Muddy Waters, a Rosebud artist until his passing, was ranked twice among the readers' top choices in the Historical Album of the Year category for his own album, You Shook Me: The Chess Masters, Vol. 3, 1958 To 1963, and for his collaboration with The Rolling Stones, Live At The Checkerboard Lounge Chicago 1981, which also features Stones drummer Charlie Watts, who Rosebud represents for his rare jazz performances.
Congratulations to all the artists. To Catch Them Perform Live On Stage, See Tour Dates >>
SEPTEMBER 2013: Meshell Ndegeocello's Music Video Premier Of "Suzanne" On USA TODAY
Pour une Âme Souveraine has received great reviews from the likes of New York Times' Nate Chinen who called Meshell "a singer-songwriter of searching candor and an electric bassist of mesmerizing skill," and stated, "...she welcomed a small array of guest vocalists... But the most intriguingly shaded voice on the album belongs to Ms. Ndegeocello, who apprehends Simone's legacy with curiosity and stubbornness - as well as a keen appreciation of her political stance." And NPR declared, "Ndegeocello makes a natural accomplice to that [Simone's] legacy , and she tackles these songs with all due respect and understanding... The resulting concoction stays true to Nina Simone's spirit, while still taking liberties - a move worthy of a subject who never sat still for anyone."
Meshell's milestone album Bitter was released 14 years ago, August 24,
1999. To commemorate the recording, she has released a free download of
"Wasted Time" from the album. This is a live version of the song recorded at
the Bowery Ballroom in November of 1999.
NOVEMBER 2012:Meshell Ndegeocello On NPR's All Things Considered And Bettye LaVette On Tavis Smiley
Bettye LaVette will make a return appearance to PBS's Tavis Smiley November 29, 2012 (check local listings for details). The interview will be posted online for viewing 24 hours after the PBS TV broadcast here. Following extensive press worldwide for her new record, Thankful N' Thoughtful, and her tell-all, unapologetic biography, A Woman Like Me, Bettye is currently scheduled for a European tour December 2012 and continued extensive worldwide touring throughout 2013 .
Bill Frisell came in second as Best Guitarist (he won the category overall in the recent Downbeat critics poll - for the fourth consecutive year and 11th time in the past 15 years!) and ranked high in Best Jazz Artist of the Year and Composer categories, while his CD All We Are Saying... scored among the top dozen Jazz Albums of The Year. Allen Toussaint ranked in the top five in the Arranger category, while Bettye LaVette was listed among the top artists in the Blues Artist or Group category. Meshell Ndegeocello ranked high in the Beyond Artist or Group category, and her recent release Weather was ranked among the top choices in the Beyond Album category. Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band also ranked among the best in the Baritone Saxophone category.
Muddy Waters, a Rosebud artist until his passing, was ranked among the top readers choices for the DownBeat Hall of Fame.
Congratulations to all the artists. To Catch These Artists Perform Live On Stage, See Tour Dates >>
AUGUST 2012: Meshell Ndegeocello's Pour Une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication To Nina Simone - out October 9th
Meshell Ndegeocello will release Pour une âme souveraine: a dedication to Nina Simone on October 9th. The new release features special guest appearances by Sinead O'Connor, Lizz Wright, Valerie June, Tracy Wannomae, Toshi Reagon and Cody ChesnuTT, and is dedicated to the life and work of the iconic singer Nina Simone: Pour une âme Souveraine ("For a sovereign soul"). Recorded in only 10 days, Meshell, accompanied by musicians Chris Bruce (guitar), Jebin Bruni (keys) and Deantoni Parks (drums), has reworked some of the most iconic songs associated with Simone's legendary career. As Chris Bruce (arranger and co-producer with Meshell) reflected on the recording process, "We really wanted to do something we felt was true to Nina Simone. By that, realizing it meant we had to do what felt true to us…The aim was not to re-create the existing versions, because we felt strongly that the only way to honor Nina would be for Meshell to find her own voice in the material."
To celebrate the release, NPR premiered "Be My Husband" from the new album featuring vocals by New York singer-song-writer Valerie June. NPR says of the reinvention of this iconic track and the forthcoming album, "Ndegeocello makes a natural accomplice to [Nina Simone's] legacy, and she tackles these songs with all due respect and understanding". Meshell's admiration for Simone and Simone's fight for equal rights in the United States is unwavering, "She wanted success, was pressured to make hits, but her own sound was still irrepressible," explains Meshell. "She had things to say, she protested. She was a loud, proud black, female voice during a time when black female voices were not encouraged to make themselves heard."
Pour une âme souveraine is a collection of classics made well known by Simone and have given an inspiring and creative reinvention by Meshell and her very special guests, so honoring Nina Simone's spirit.
JULY 2012: Mavis Staples And Meshell Ndegeocello In Tribute To The Life And Music Of Curtis Mayfield
Mavis Staples and Meshell Ndegeocello were both featured at New York's Lincoln Center, celebrating the life and music of Curtis Mayfield. The night, billed as "Here But I'm Gone: A 70th Birthday Tribute to Curtis Mayfield", took place on July 20 and featured the surviving members of The Impressions (the group originally led by Mayfield in the Sixties) and an array of special guests including Mavis and Meshell as well as; Dr. Lonnie Smith, William Bell, Sinéad O'Connor, The Roots, Ryan Montbleau, Aloe Blacc, Bilal, Inyang Bassey, Kyp Malone and Tunde Adebimpe, with band leader Binky Griptite of the Dap-Kings.
The evening's event also celebrated the launch of the Curtis Mayfield Foundation, set up in his name to help disadvantaged youth progress in the arts.
The concert showcased the immense influence and impact Mayfield's vast musical catalogue has had across the decades, from Meshell's rendition of "Pusherman" - a song that was featured on Mayfield's 1972 Hit soundtrack album Superfly - through to Mavis' performance of "This is My Country". A song symbolic, in tying together Mavis and Mayfield's long history of activism since the early days of the Civil Rights Movement to the musical collaboration between Mayfield and The Staple Singers.
Mavis also joined The Impressions on stage, ripping through The Staples Singers/Mayfield collaboration on their number-one hit song "Let's Do It Again", originally released as the soundtrack to the movie of the same name that starred Sidney Poitier and Bill Crosby.
Rounding off the evening's celebration was an encore that featured the all-star line-up, raising the roof with feel-good funk classic "Move On Up", with Rolling Stone praising it as, "a collective soul-stirring rendition....ending the show with the kind of uplifting note that any true payment of respect to Curtis Mayfield's positive force certainly demanded."
Trombone Shorty joined Frisell in the Jazz Album of the Year category for his CD For True. In fact, Trombone Shorty scored high in seven categories including Best Trombone Player (ranking third), Rising Star Jazz Artist (also 3rd), Rising Star Jazz Group, Rising Star Trombone, Beyond Artist or Group, and Beyond Album. Also, appearing in the latter two categories is fellow Rosebud artist Meshell Ndegeocello.
Other Rosebud artists ranking high in the poll included Allen Toussaint for Best Arranger (second place), Bettye LaVette - Best Blues Artist or Group (top 5 ranking), and Marcia Ball - Best Blues Album category for Roadside Attractions.
Frisell's long-time collaborator, the late Paul Motian, was also inducted into the DownBeat Hall of Fame. Frisell worked with the legendary jazz drummer for three decades. Some of Bill Frisell's other frequent and current collaborators were named in the following categories - Ron Carter (Bass category), Jenny Scheinman (Best Violinist and Rising Star - Violin categories as well as Jazz Album of The Year), and Joey Baron - Best Drummer category. Bill's Manager and Producer as well as collaborator on 2012's Floratone II CD, Lee Townsend, was also named among the best in both Producer and Rising Star-Producer categories.
MAY 2012: Meshell Ndegeocello Speaks On PBS's News Hour About The Importance Of The Arts In Education
Ten time Grammy nominee, Meshell Ndegeocello, spoke with PBS News Hour on the crucial role arts education in schools plays in a child's development. A graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Meshell notes that "for someone like me who didn't excel in a regular high school environment in terms of academics, [music class] was definitely something that made me more secure as a person, finding something I could be good at and a school where I could fit in". To hear more, please view Meshell's interview.
Meshell is currently on a world tour in support of her latest CD, Weather (November 2011), produced by Joe Henry (Aimee Mann, Solomon Burke, Ani DiFranco) and features collaborations with the likes of Chris Connelly (ex-Revolting Cocks, Ministry), Benji Hughes, and Joe himself.
Catch Meshell performing live on stage in Europe in the next few weeks before returning for dates across the US. Please see tour dates >>
JANUARY 2012: Rosebud Artists Recognized In Village Voice 2011 Pazz & Jop Poll
Albums and singles released by Rosebud artists last year are recognized in the 2011 Village Voice Pazz & Jop Music Critics Poll, which calculated 700 critics' votes for their Top 10 albums and singles of the year.
Also recognized on the list:
• Buddy Miller's Majestic Silver Strings album which features Bill Frisell as well as a single from the album, "Meds"
• Ben Waters, Boogie 4 Stu: A Tribute to Ian Stewart, which features Rosebud Artist Charlie Watts
• Tom Waits' Bad As Me album, which features Charlie Musselwhite, as well as all five singles from the album that Charlie guests on ("Satisfied," "Bad As Me," "Hell Broke Luce," "Chicago" and "Raised Right Man")
• Steve Cropper's Dedicated: A Salute to the 5 Royales, which features Bettye LaVette