News on Jim Brickman, Meshell Ndegeocello, OK Go
Although he just released the new album "Grace" via Windham Hill, pianist Jim Brickman has already settled on his next project. The artist tells Billboard he is working on an album of Disney songs, tentatively titled "Imagination," for release on Walt Disney Records.
"I'm seeing a lot more families at my concerts, multi-generations," Brickman says. "I wanted music that was familiar, family-oriented, positive, hopeful, inspirational. The two things that come under that category are faith-based songs and Disney songs."
Brickman's deal with Windham Hill is up; the artist's 10-plus releases have sold 4.2 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Grace" debuted earlier this month at No. 1 on Billboard's Top New Age Albums chart and No. 2 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums tally.
-- Deborah Evans Price, Nashville
Meshell Ndegeocello, the funky electric bassist who originally signed to Maverick Records in 1993, will release her first all-jazz outing, "Dance of the Infidels," June 21 via Shanachie.
Ndegeocello's electric all-star jazz collective, Spirit Music Jamia, features such guests as Kenny Garrett, Jack DeJohnette, Oliver Lake, Don Byron and Soulive's Neal Evans, as well as vocalists Cassandra Wilson, Lalah Hathaway and Sabina (of the Brazilian Girls).
"I didn't want to be a leader," Ndegeocello tells Billboard. "I just wanted to play bass and highlight the band. I was writing compositions with melodic figures and chord changes that lent themselves to this kind of music. It was a natural process for me. I wrote the cells, the improvisers played on them without rehearsals, and the tunes took no more than two takes."
-- Dan Ouellette, N.Y.
Chicago-based rock act OK Go will release its sophomore album, "Oh No," Aug. 30 via Capitol. The 13-track set was recorded by Tore Johansson (Franz Ferdinand) and mixed by Dave Sardy (Hot Hot Heat, Jet). It's the follow-up to the band's 2002 self-titled debut, which hit No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.
OK Go will begin a North American tour May 25 in Asbury Park, N.J., most of the dates on which will feature up-and-coming U.K. rock combo Kaiser Chiefs. Singer/songwriter Jason Falkner will join the bill at a June 11 show in Los Angeles.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.