Seeing a performance by soulful force of nature Meshell Ndegeocello is always a treat, but this week's show at Largo has a bonus incentive. Billed as “Gett Off: Meshell Ndegeocello Covers Prince,” the program will include the bassist's unique take on the Purple One's catalog, accompanied by Chris Bruce on guitar, Deantoni Parks on drums and Keefus Ciancia on keys.
We asked Meshell for her Top Five Prince Tunes, and she got back to us without hesitation with some deep cuts from the very early years.
“These are my favorites,” she explains, “but not exactly representative of what I'm playing. For the shows, I go both ways — obscure and beloved.”
Yes, casual fans, Meshell is not gonna leave you without “Little Red Corvette,” “Lady Cab Driver” and “Pop Life.” But these are the Prince tunes closest to her fiery heart:
• “Annie Christian” (Controversy, 1981): “It's a political yet enchantingly post-punk tune. It shows why and how he was such an innovator.”
• “Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)” (1999, 1982): “ 'Must be something in the water you drink.' I love this song. I don't have any critical thinking on it, it just makes me hot.”
• “All the Critics Love U in New York” (1999, 1982): “Great bass line and just an interesting groove. Basically, I love when he is slanted, angry. His cultural critiques were so sharp then.”
• “Gotta Broken Heart Again” (Dirty Mind, 1980): “It's simply beautiful. I remember in my youth it gave words to my own inner dialogue. His music saved me many a time.”
• “I'm Yours” (For You, 1978): “Oh, my God! It has a bass solo, and he played all the instruments. What more do you want?”
“Gett Off: Meshell Ndegeocello Covers Prince,” Thurs., March 10, Largo at the Coronet