Music

MTM126

Out Now on Motema Music

  “One of the 10 Best Jazz Albums of 2017 (So Far)” – NY Observer 

In Celebration of his 30th Year as a Lead Recording Artist Charnett Moffet is proud
to release Music From Our Soul which features his long-term collaborators and friends:
Pharaoh Sanders, Stanley Jordan, Cyrus Chestnut, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Victor Lewis, Mike Clark.

READ CHARNETT’S 2017 JAZZIZ DIGITAL FEATURE HERE:
“BOLD AS LOVE: CHARNETT MOFFETT CONTINUES TO EXPLORE INNER
AND OUTER SPACE IN HIS QUEST FOR HONEST EXPRESSION.”

 

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MTM126

Spirit of Sound (July 9, 2013) is a cinematic free/world/jazz adventure conceived, composed and produced by the visionary bassist Charnett Moffett in association with Motéma label president Jana Herzen, his son Charnett “Max” Moffett, and famed jazz manager Mary Ann Topper, who co-produced his previous release, The Bridge (Solo Bass Works). Spirit of Sound takes the listener on a groundbreaking sonic journey into Moffett’s very adventurous composer/performer/producer world of multi-layered basses – an upright acoustic, a fretless electric and a piccolo bass guitar mystically intermingle with magical vocalese, mysterious poetry and East Indian drones along with hard-swinging jazz piano, drums and sax. Spirit of Sound also features the current generation of the Moffett family musical legacy, along with cameo appearances from five acclaimed leaders from the Motéma roster: Marc Cary, Oran Etkin, Jana Herzen, Babatunde Lea and Tessa Souter.Respected as one of the most virtuosic and expressive bassists in jazz, Moffett has outdone even himself this year. Spirit of Sound, his 13th release as a leader, follows his searing and internationally acclaimed solo recording The Bridge, released by Motéma in April 2013. The intensely focused release was an astounding acoustic solo bass tour-de-force on which Moffett pulled a seemingly impossible symphony of sounds out of one instrument. In contrast, Spirit of Sound has the composer toying with an extraordinarily wide spectrum of sounds and textures on a multi-dimensional studio project. These two 2013 releases join Moffett’s previous recordings for Motéma: Treasure (2011) and his 2009 label debut The Art of Improvisation.
Read the Spirit of Sound Press Release

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The Bridge (April 9, 2013) is one of a very limited number of solo acoustic bass discs ever recorded and is an astounding project in musical range and sound. It features 20 dynamic tracks that will delight all fans of music. The recording showcases Moffett’s uncanny ability to play melody and harmony while evoking sound that sometimes is like a trumpet, a sitar or a band – and is always real music. The thoughtful musical selections reflect his entire 30-year-plus career and showcase his compositional excellence. “Caravan,” which opens the recording, connects to Moffett’s 25-year history performing with the Manhattan Jazz Quintet and performing this tune as his signature piece with the group. The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” taps into his distinctive ability to inhabit any sound within the entire musical spectrum – jazz, contemporary, pop, classical, Middle Eastern – and make it resound deeply for the listener. “Black Codes” links to Moffett’s experience with the Wynton Marsalis Quintet when he was fresh out of Juilliard at age 16. The idea of pairing the early 19th century Negro spiritual “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho” with 21st century Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” came from Mary Ann Topper, the co-producer of The Bridge, who was also a key figure in Charnett’s ’80s career breakout. Other selections represent additional pivotal influences such as Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner and Tony Williams. Moffett contributes eight compelling originals, including the electric-leaning “Free Your Mind,” which closes this remarkable disc – his 12th as a leader.

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For Charnett Moffett’s eleventh CD as a leader, he has chosen to play acoustic upright, but mainly electric bass guitar in settings that have a distinct Eastern Indian flavor. Surrounded by sitar, harmonium, and tabla, Moffett’s popping, funky bass melds into an ethnic fusion that also taps on American jazz or rhythm & blues. The combination is very palatable, arresting, and captivating, considering the concept and high virtuosity the bassist has always employed. Moffett has always been curious and able to challenge himself outside conventional jazz, on this date, he occasionally goes into speed-demon mode, working with spoken word vocals and even a bit of country and eastern fusion. Bass clarinetist Oran Etkin is used effectively on a dense, Asiatic parallel to the famous Nat Adderley standard “Work Song” titled “Swing Street,” and tapping guitarist Stanley Jordan guests on two tracks, specifically the quick waltz “The Celebration” aside a small horn section. Casimir Liberski is the sleeper sideman of the group, playing distinctly spare piano, while Moffett really digs into the raga arena during “Say La La” with the Kugo harp playing of Tomoko Sugawara. But it’s clear that Moffett is the leader, playing main stem lines on every track, taking many solos, or forcefully pushing the envelope with his instrument. It’s another bold statement from a fine instrumentalist who has always deserved wider recognition.

AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos

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(…) This recording, his eighth as a leader, could advance any listener’s view of Moffett, as he overdubs fretless electric bass guitar, piccolo bass, and acoustic upright in a variety of different progressive jazz and ethnic contexts, referencing the title as a prerequisite for making this heady, always intriguing music that commands attention from start to finish. Drummers Will Calhoun (Living Color) and Eric McPherson are on board, the band expands and contracts with guitarists and keyboardists, and Tibetan vocalist Yungchen Lhamo is included, making for a stew and brew of epic proportions that is the foundation for Moffett’s many whims and fancied flights of improvisation through soloing and layering of his instruments. The more exotic works here are so intriguing they deserve additional listenings. “Enlightenment, Pt. I/II” is based in Middle Eastern, oud like sounds and ethnic swing respectively, the outstanding track “The Awakening” adds tapped and bowed bass sounds folded into a sound that is at once modal, kinetic, bright, ancient and modern. “We Pray” retains the folk ethnicity but is powered by Moffett’s Jaco Pastorius-like lead sound up front, while “Swing Rock” keeps the Pastorius pulse, add drums only, and effects, in an extension of what Weather Report might have evolved into. A powerhouse theme, “The Story,” has the bowed electric bass contrasted into choppy excursions and wah-wah fusion with neo-bop and classical overtones all in one treatise. Swing and funk are juxtaposed during “Moses,” a soured tone in a 6/8 contrabass solo identifies “Elements of Life,” and sister Angela Moffett recites poetry on the free piece “Dreams.” Lhamo is most prominent on “Call for Peace” as her oohs and ahhs buoy Moffett’s bowed acoustic bass. The tricky balance between pure, arty improvisation and overdubbing is difficult to discern or break down, but easy to enjoy. Perhaps Moffett’s very best effort in his three-decade career, it completely sums up where he came from, and where he’s headed, into a fully formed identity as a leader who is now emerging in a singular voice, with disparate elements blending beautifully. This spirited and soulful recording comes highly recommended, especially to those who tire of the less substantive, flashy, speed king quotient prevalent in far too many other bassists.

AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos

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Throughout ten action-packed years of building Motéma – which now boasts three Grammy nominations and a catalog of close to 100 CDs by over 40 critically acclaimed artists – Herzen has been a devoted label leader, but she also never lost sight of her own artistry. She continued to perform, write and record, and is happy at last to share some of the fruits of her labors on Passion of a Lonely Heart, a quiet duo project she recorded ‘live in the studio,’ with esteemed bassist (and Motéma label mate) Charnett Moffett, whose stellar resume includes work with McCoy Tyner, Wynton Marsalis and Ornette Coleman, as well as vocalists Harry Connick, Jr., Anita Baker and, recently, Melody Gardot.

“Jana’s a fabulous songwriter who has great compositions with interesting structures,” says Moffett, who met Herzen one night after performing with Stanley Jordan at the Iridium jazz club in New York City. “Learning Jana’s music forced me play in a different style and concept that was unusual for me to experience.”

Though she plays mainly jazz on Passion of a Lonely Heart, Herzen’s influences range from Maria Muldaur, Leonard Cohen and Bob Marley to Miles Davis, Joe Pass and Leonard Bernstein and beyond. Much like the label that she runs, she has a penchant for crossing genres. “There aren’t that many singer-songwriter-guitarists in the jazz idiom,” she comments, “but there are some great examples – such as John Pizzarelli, George Benson or Raul Midon. “ Herzen humbly declines comparison with those master guitarists in regards to her instrumental chops, but her musicality and deep understanding of the jazz idiom are as apparent in this recording as they are in her artistic direction of Motéma.

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Discography

Year Title Label
1987 Beauty Within Blue Note
1987 Net Man Blue Note
1991 Nettwork Manhattan Records
1994 Planet Home Evidence
1997 Still Life Evidence
2004 For the Love of Peace Piadrum Records
2006 Internet Piadrum Records
2009 Art of Improvisation Motéma Music
2010 Treasure Motéma Music
2013 The Bridge: Solo Bass Works Motéma Music
2013 Spirit of Sound Motéma Music
2014 Music from Our Soul Motéma Music

Career Recording Credits

Year Album Artist Credit
2013 Spirit of Sound Charnett Moffett Composer, Liner Notes, Primary Artist, Producer
2013 The Bridge: Solo Bass Works Charnett Moffett Composer, Liner Notes, Primary Artist, Producer
2012 Magic Touch/Standards, Vol.1/Flying Home Stanley Jordan Bass (Acoustic)
2012 Passion of a Lonely Heart Jana Herzen Bass (Acoustic), Bass (Electric), Featured Artist, Guest Artist, Liner Notes, Primary Artist, Producer
2011 Friends Stanley Jordan Bass
2010 Sweet Thunder Delfeayo Marsalis Bass
2010 Treasure Charnett Moffett Bass (Acoustic), Bass (Electric), Bass (Upright), Composer, Director, Fretless Bass, Narrator, Piccolo Bass, Primary Artist, Producer
2009 Art of Improvisation Charnett Moffett Audio Production, Bass (Acoustic), Bass (Upright), Bass Instrument, Composer, Drums, Fretless Bass, Guitar (Bass), Liner Notes, Piccolo Bass, Primary Artist, Producer
2008 Best of Best 2000-2007 Manhattan Jazz Quintet Bass, Bass Instrument, Member of Attributed Artist
2008 New Morning: The Paris Concert [DVD] Stanley Jordan Bass
2008 Otoko No Kakurega Jazz Compilation: Thrill Bass
2008 State of Nature Stanley Jordan Bass, Guitar (Bass), Main Personnel
2007 Afro Blue McCoy Tyner Bass, Guitar (Bass), Main Personnel, Primary Artist
2007 Flavors Scott Brown Bass (Acoustic), Main Personnel
2007 Mosaic Select: Tony Williams Tony Williams Bass
2007 Music for Lovers Dianne Reeves Bass
2006 Got the Impeach Bush/Cheney Blues Bass
2006 Internet Charnett Moffett Bass (Acoustic), Bass (Upright), Composer, Fretless Bass, Guitar (Bass), Main Personnel, Piccolo Bass, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals
2006 Jazziz: Cool Summer, Vol. 5 Primary Artist
2005 African Spirits: A Spiritual Jazz Journey Looking Back to Africa Bass (Acoustic)
2005 Anthology: You’ve Got to Have Freedom Pharoah Sanders Bass (Acoustic)
2005 Blue Note Ever 80’s Primary Artist
2005 Come Together Manhattan Jazz Quintet Bass, Group Member
2005 Progressions: 100 Years of Jazz Guitar Bass
2005 Take the A Train Manhattan Jazz Quintet Bass, Group Member
2004 For the Love of Peace Charnett Moffett Bass (Acoustic), Composer, Fretless Bass, Primary Artist, Producer
2004 Rediscovery on GRP Arturo Sandoval Bass
2004 Telarc SACD Jazz Sampler, Vol. 3 Bass, Primary Artist
2004 The Very Best of Arturo Sandoval Arturo Sandoval Bass, Bass Instrument, Main Personnel
2004 With All My Heart Harvey Mason, Sr. Composer, Guest Artist
2003 Borders of Disorderly Time Jayne Cortez Bass, Soloist
2003 Jazz for Those Peaceful Moments [Savoy Jazz] Bass
2003 Land of Giants McCoy Tyner Bass, Featured Artist, Guest Artist, Primary Artist
2003 Standard of Language Kenny Garrett Bass
2003 Timeless Ocean Earthscapes Composer
2002 Happy People Kenny Garrett Bass (Acoustic)
2002 My Favorite Things Cody Moffett Bass
2002 Producer 05 LTJ Bukem Bass (Acoustic)
2002 The Best of Dianne Reeves Dianne Reeves Bass
2001 Future 2 Future Herbie Hancock Bass (Acoustic), Guest Artist
2001 Late Passenger Marcos Resende Composer
2001 New York City After Hours Bass, Primary Artist
2001 Old Folks Michael Brecker Bass
2001 Popular Songs: The Best of Wynton Marsalis Wynton Marsalis Bass
2001 Progression Sessions: Live LTJ Bukem Bass (Acoustic)
2001 The Essence Herbie Hancock Bass (Acoustic), Primary Artist
2001 The Score (Soundtrack) Howard Shore Bass
2001 Works & Passion Klaus Doldinger Bass
2000 Romance in Rio [32 Jazz] Bass, Primary Artist
2000 Until We Meet Again: Napúa Davoy Sings the Music of Andre Kondakov Napua Davoy Bass, Bass (Acoustic), Guest Artist
1999 Autumn Jazz Bass
1999 Come by Me Harry Connick, Jr. Bass
1999 No Job Too Big or Small Wallace Roney Bass
1998 Chapters 1 & 2: Keys to the City / Work Mulgrew Miller Bass, Guest Artist
1998 General Music Project, Vol. 2 General Music Project Bass, Composer, Producer
1998 Jazz for a Rainy Afternoon [32 Jazz] Bass
1998 Live in New York Stanley Jordan Bass, Composer, Guest Artist
1998 More E le Canzoni Sul Grande Schermo Primary Artist
1998 The Rainbow Connection Kenny Drew, Jr. Bass, Guest Artist
1997 According to Mr. Roney Wallace Roney Bass
1997 General Music Project General Music Project Bass, Composer, Producer
1997 Still Life Charnett Moffett Bass, Composer, Primary Artist, Producer
1996 Hidden Man Ornette Coleman Sound Museum Bass, Guest Artist
1996 Into Another Light Sonny Sharrock Bass (Acoustic)
1996 Level of Intent Babatunde Bass
1996 Message from Home Pharoah Sanders Bass (Acoustic), Guest Artist
1996 Room of One’s Own Rachel Z Bass, Guest Artist
1996 Sound Museum Three Women Ornette Coleman Sound Museum Bass, Guest Artist
1996 Street Scenes David Sanchez Bass, Guest Artist
1996 The Best of Tony Williams Tony Williams Bass, Guest Artist
1995 Modern Day Jazz Stories Courtney Pine Double Bass, Guest Artist
1995 The Best of Stanley Jordan Stanley Jordan Bass
1995 Triology Kenny Garrett Bass, Guest Artist
1994 Acoustic Jazz Bass
1994 Covering All the Bassists Performer, Primary Artist
1994 Doldinger in New York Klaus Doldinger Bass, Guest Artist
1994 Planet Home Charnett Moffett Bass, Bass (Acoustic), Composer, Fretless Bass, Piccolo Bass, Primary Artist, Producer
1994 Reality Julian Joseph Bass, Bass (Acoustic)
1994 Rhythm of Love Anita Baker Guest Artist
1993 Evidence Cody Moffett Composer
1993 I Love a Piano: GRP Gold Encore Series Bass
1993 Ronnie Burrage Shuttle Ronnie Burrage Bass
1993 Sound the Trumpets Bass
1993 This Time Around Alex Bugnon Bass (Acoustic)
1992 Ancient Ritual Sonny Simmons Bass
1992 Black Hope Kenny Garrett Bass, Guest Artist
1992 GRP 10th Anniversary Collection Bass
1992 I Remember Dianne Reeves Bass
1992 I Remember Clifford Arturo Sandoval Bass
1992 Landmarks Mulgrew Miller Bass
1992 Letter to Evan David Benoit Bass
1992 Look Inside Kenny Drew, Jr. Bass, Composer, Guest Artist, Unknown Contributor Role
1992 Send One Your Love Donald Brown Bass, Unknown Contributor Role
1992 Trust the Universe Rachel Z Bass, Bass (Acoustic), Unknown Contributor Role
1992 Turning Point Kevin Eubanks Bass, Bass (Acoustic)
1991 Ask the Ages Sonny Sharrock Bass, Bass (Acoustic), Guest Artist
1991 Blue Note Concert Stanley Jordan Composer
1991 Illuminations: An Axiom Compilation Bass
1991 Kenny Kirkland Kenny Kirkland Bass, Guest Artist, Unknown Contributor Role
1991 Nettwork Charnett Moffett Bass, Composer, Primary Artist
1991 One Day Spent Vince Jones Bass, Double Bass
1991 Stolen Moments Stanley Jordan Bass, Bass (Acoustic), Bass (Electric), Guest Artist
1990 African Exchange Student Kenny Garrett Bass, Guest Artist
1990 Cornucopia Stanley Jordan Bass, Guest Artist
1990 Within the Realms of Our Dreams Courtney Pine Bass (Acoustic), Guest Artist
1989 Autumn Leaves Cindy Blackman Bass
1989 Curveball Geoff Keezer Bass, Guest Artist
1989 Dedications Robin Eubanks Bass, Bass (Acoustic), Bass (Electric)
1989 The Standard Bearer Wallace Roney Bass, Guest Artist
1988 Meet the Magical Trio James Williams Bass, Guest Artist
1988 The Far Side Tony Reedus Bass, Guest Artist
1988 The Sweetest Sounds Donald Brown Bass, Guest Artist
1987 Beauty Within Charnett Moffett Bass, Bass (Electric), Keyboards, Percussion, Primary Artist, Producer
1987 Civilization Tony Williams Bass, Guest Artist
1987 Countin’ on the Blues John Stubblefield Bass
1987 Net Man Charnett Moffett Bass, Composer, Primary Artist
1987 Verses Wallace Roney Bass, Guest Artist
1987 Wingspan Mulgrew Miller Bass
1987 Work Mulgrew Miller Bass
1986 Bushman Song John Stubblefield Bass, Guitar (Bass)
1986 Yesterdays Lew Soloff Guest Artist, Performer
1985 Black Codes (From the Underground) Wynton Marsalis Bass
1985 Magic Touch Stanley Jordan Bass, Bass (Acoustic)
1985 My Funny Valentine Manhattan Jazz Quintet Guest Artist
1985 Parker’s Mood Sadao Watanabe Bass, Guest Artist
1984 Decision in Paradise Frank Lowe Bass
1984 Manhattan Jazz Quintet Manhattan Jazz Quintet Guest Artist
1984 Scenes in the City Branford Marsalis Bass