Meshell Ndegeocello has assembled a cast of leading jazz artists -- including Cassandra Wilson, Kenny Garrett, Jack DeJohnette, Don Byron, Wallace Roney, Neal Evans and Layla Hathaway -- for a new alb

Meshell Ndegeocello has assembled a cast of leading jazz artists -- including Cassandra Wilson, Kenny Garrett, Jack DeJohnette, Don Byron, Wallace Roney, Neal Evans and Layla Hathaway -- for a new album under the name Papillon. Ndegeocello plays bass on and is co-producing the set, "Dance of the Infidels," due Jan. 13 from Verve. Bob Power also produced.

Ndegeocello continues to record pop albums for Maverick; her next disc, "Comfort Woman," is due Oct. 14.

Verve A&R executive Jason Olaine says the project grew out of a conversation with Ndegeocello in January 2002, while she was participating in the recording of Roy Hargrove's R&B album "The RH Factor: Hard Groove."

"Meshell told me that she'd been wanting to make a jazz album," Olaine says. "She had the idea for Papillon, and she was the driving force for the project. She conceptualized it, produced it, directed traffic and invited friends. It's not a pop record. There are tunes that are 11 to 14 minutes long and feature the players really stretching out and blowing."

Ndegeocello will also be heard in the coming weeks on new albums from the Blind Boys Of Alabama and Basement Jaxx.