Meshell Ndegeocello Curates Sun Ra Tribute Album, Shares New Song: Listen


Meshell Ndegeocello worked on a new album inspired by Sun Ra and his 1966 album The Magic City. The new release, Red Hot & Ra: The Magic City, is out April 12 via Red Hot Organization. Ndegeocello produced the album with Hector Castillo. Listen to the new song “#9 Venus the Living Myth,” featuring saxophonists Marshall Allen and Immanuel Wilkins, below.

Ndegeocello made Red Hot & Ra: The Magic City with Allen, Wilkins, Pink Siifu, saxophonist Darius Jones, vocalist-composer Justin Hicks, drummers Deantoni Parks and Kojo Roney, bassist Rashaan Carter, multi-instrumentalist Stuart Bogie, guitarist Christopher Bruce, violinist Eddy Kwon, keyboardists Daniel Mintseris and Jebin Bruni, and more.

“Sun Ra’s music is a living organism, and once you immerse yourself in his work, his life, you recognize there’s a fork in the road—that you really have to make choices, because there’s so many other realms and dimensions to explore musically,” Ndegeocello said in a press statement. “I want people to walk away [from listening to the album by] understanding that [life] is really of your own design. The mind is the only part we really have control over, and do the best to live the life you want to live.”

Last year, Red Hot Organization released three Red Hot & Ra albums: Nuclear War, Nuclear War: The Remixes, and Solar. Also in 2023, Meshell Ndegeocello released The Omnichord Real Book, and the Blue Note Records project just won Best Alternative Jazz Album at the 2024 Grammy Awards.

Revisit “A Guide to Sun Ra on Film” on the Pitch.

Red Hot & Ra: The Magic City:

01 Solipsistic Panacea (Black Antiques)
02 Departure Guide of the 7 Sisters
03 Bedlam Blues
04 #9 Venus the Living Myth
05 El-Soul the Companion, Traveler
06 LQ1TY – 29 Years
07 Yet Differently Not- Mars Hall
08 Reproductive Manatees – Sunny Said Up!
09 The World of Shadow

Artwork by Cécile McLorin Salvant