Critic's Choice

Though criminally underappreciated, Meshell Ndegeocello, who appears Wednesday, October 30, at the Bluebird Theater, with DJ Sundance Kid, helped lay the foundation for current neo-soul sisters and brothers such as Jill Scott, D'Angelo, Erykah Badu and Floetry. Her latest CD, Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape, shuns the lush orchestration that defined 1999's Bitter (1999) and focuses on straight-up funk and bedroom soul. Ndegeocello's sassy vocals ("If Jesus were alive today he would be incarcerated with the rest of the brothers") and her band's sensual grooves are as digable as an old soul record. Her rendition of Smokey Robinson's "You Really Got a Hold on Me" in the movie Standing in the Shadows of Motown -- a documentary that was a hit at this year's Denver International Film Festival -- is proof positive that this particular performer deserves much more time in the spotlight.


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