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Charnett Moffett is a bass wizard and master musician equally comfortable in
a leadership or complementary role. He divides his time on this session between
delivering dazzling licks, accompaniment and solos, and establishing the
direction for the main group that includes pianist/synthesizer player Stephen
Scott and drummers Eric McPherson or Amit Shamir. Moffett spearheads them during
responses to and complementary passages for soprano saxophonist Aaron Spencer,
vocalist Maria Sarton-Spencer, and also musically leads them through his
rigorous originals like "Icon Blues," "Kings and Queens," and "Mr. O.C." While
these aren't lengthy pieces (none are longer than five minutes), Moffett's
writing establishes ample space for Scott's fluid playing, but overall he
emphasizes trio cohesion and interaction rather than sheer technical facility.
That's also a hallmark of Moffett's own approach, whether playing standard
acoustic, fretless, piccolo or electric bass. He has a disciplined, economic
style, but displays when necessary the amazing speed, thick tone and overall
virtuoso talent that stamps him as a monster player.
Moffett is one of those touted young lions who has grown into his promise
since his early days with Wynton. He is a monster bassist who can play both
upright and electric with equal ease, jumping between hard bop and funk with
nary a blink. He is also a fine composer, with the ability to groove and solo
like a madman. He is more tempered than his early days, which means he can still
work the fretboard with fleet fingers but he knows when to stay mellow and when
to push forward. Here he plays all his own compositions, and they all fit his
diverse style. The disc starts with a couple of swing tunes, including his "Icon
Blues," which, with its bass melody, will remind some of "So What." The more
contemporary tunes aren't quite as effective as the more straight ahead numbers.
"PTL" is impressive in Moffett's varied voices on acoustic, fretless electric,
and piccolo basses, but the mild Caribbean groove is less effective. More
compelling is the "Free Raga," which impressively shows off Moffett's quick
hands and experimentation with foreign tones, and bleeds into a world music.
He's backed by a great band that features Stephen Scott on piano, one of the
most underrated keyboardists in the genre. Moffett sings on "Enjoy Your Life"
and his voice and lyrics are odd on a tune that sounds like a late Weather
Report tune. More interesting is his take on the "Star Spangled Banner," which
is highly electric and an obvious ode to Jimi Hendrix's version. The final bonus
track, the kickin' "RAS" is a funk groover to the Nth degree. It's not the most
fluid album, but it shows off a talent that needs to be heard often.
Bassist Charnett Moffett's Internet is so chock full of diverse and eclectic
playing that it should include a textbook companion. Almost every style of
bass playing on practically every type of bass is displayed on this engrossing
release. His acoustic work in the trio format ranges from the dramatic and
intricate ("G.E.M.") to the funky and crisp ("Icon Blues"). Moffett's
technique on the solo extravaganza "Coral" is blistering and blister producing.
With most of the songs ranging in and around a radio friendly time (and as a
result should be actively played by radio stations), Moffett explores many
territories in relatively short bursts of time. The free flight "Jubilant"
has a welcome Middle Eastern influence. Likewise, "Happy Dreams" and "Free
Raga" features remarkable fretless bass work mixed in with entrancing percussion
work and lyrical melodies. But Moffett can get down with it as well, as a
heavy and thick "Enjoy Your Life" proves. The funk minus brass continues
with "RAS." Moffett covers all of the bass-ics on this thoroughly
informative, explorative release.
During his solos with the McCoy Tyner trio,
bassist Charnett Moffett will invariably startle purists by pulling out his bow
and slapping the strings down by the bridge while fingering notes on the neck
with his left hand. It's an unorthodox, percussive technique that relates
more to the Brazilian berimbau than the acoustic bass. But as Moffett
says, "Why not! Play what's in your heart, play what you feel.
That's the way I see it."
That's precisely the attitude that the
adventurous, multidirectional bassist rakes on Internet, his ninth release as a
leader and second for Piadrum. On this wildly diverse collection of
originals, Moffett works the bow-slapping technique into the fabric of the title
track, and unaccompanied showcase on the upright bass. The
Juilliard-trained bassist strikes a distinctly classical mode with "Kings and
Queens," then takes a decidedly punk stance on the raucous "RAS," full of edgy
vocal, slamming backbeats and funky thumb-slapping pyrotechnics on the electric
bass. He taps into the heightened energy of John Coltrane's great rhythm
section on the modal "G.E.M." - an acronym for (Jimmy) Garrison, Elvin (Jones)
and McCoy (Tyner) - then pays tribute to his former employer Ornette Coleman on
"Mr. O.C.," which he performs on fretless electric bass. The blazing
"Happy Dreams," a dazzling chops showcase on fretless electric, is teeming with
Jaco Pastorius-isms, while his slippery glissandos on the piccolo bass
throughout "Free Raga," an Indian-flavored duet with drummer Amit Shamir,
recall U. Shrinivas' extraordinary electric mandolin playing with Remember
On "Icon Blues, "Moffett's solidly walking 4/4
lines on the upright honor the jazz-bass tradition; then he takes the same
acoustic bass to places that Ray Brown never dreamed of on a raucous, Hendrixian
rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner," complete with distortion and wah-wah
pedals. "I'm always looking for new ways to play the bass or discover
something on the instrument," says the veteran bassist who made his recording
debut with his father, drummer Charles Moffett, at the age of 7. "The bass
is a machine and it has its limitations. Believe me, I've tried to get
things out of there that the instrument won't give. I guess that's why I
got into the whole effects thing, because I'm always reaching for something
Despite the highly electric nature of his new
album, Moffett maintains, "There's still a lot of music that I haven't tapped
into yet, and it's just a matter of doing it when the opportunities are made
available." One rare opportunity that recently came his way was to perform
Oscar Pettiford's "Tricorism" at a Jazz at Lincoln Center tribute to the iconic
Cuban bassist Israel "Cachao" Lopez. "He's unbelievable!" says the
39-year-old Moffett. "He's 87, and he's playing faster with the bow than I
am. I just hope that I'm still around at that age, let alone playing the
bass that well."
While Moffett continues to juggle engagements
with Tyner and the Manhattan Jazz Quintet, a group he's been associated with for
more than 20 years, he hopes to find time to perform his own music this year.
"I'm kind of stretched out all over the place right now, but I'd like to be able
to focus more on my own band in the future," he says. "I'd love to take a
group out, do a world tour and share this music. Because what I'm really
trying to do is bring people together on the planet through music. That's
part of my calling here in life."
- JazzTimes Magazine - Bill Milkowski (Google Bass -
Charnett Moffett's Internet Searches 4/06)
Every now and then a bass player emerges as a front man and the instrument
takes a whole new personality, as on Internet, the new release from
Charnett Moffett, who wrote every tune on the album but one, an effects laden
take on "The Star Spangled Banner" obviously inspired by Jimi Hendrix.
Moffett uses acoustic, electric, fretless and piccolo basses (often more than
one at a time) and explores the limitless realm of music as he goes along.
Listen to the playfulness of "Icon Blues", a three-minute
traditional-sounding tune that features Moffett with the simple backup of piano
and drums and then notice how he completely switches gears on the following tune
"PTL", in which he leads with a very hummable melody on fretless bass, providing
the backing himself with his acoustic and a little help from piano and drums.
One of the most impressive moments on the disc is "Jubilant", which features
the wordless vocals of Maria Sartori-Spencer, who delivers her contralto voice
in an inspired, serene style that becomes a second voice to Moffett's
On the title track, he plays acoustic with no accompaniment at all,
demonstrating incredible speed on a melody that begins with a computer-like
sequence of notes that also has a bit of Middle Eastern feel. Also pay
attention to "Enjoy Your Life", an electric tune in which the bassist also
handles the vocals - the lyrics don't have much to say but the music is rich and
Internet is an impressive album with new discoveries even after
- All About Jazz NY - Ernest Barteldes
Bassist Charnett Moffett is a known entity to most of us thanks to his work
with such varied leaders as Ornette Coleman, Stanley Jordan and Wynton Marsalis.
As a leader he recorded for Blue Note in the late-'80s, Evidence in the '90s,
and now for Piadrum. Internet, his second for the label, features
Moffett with pianist Stephen Scott and Drummers Amit Shamir or Eric McPherson in
a variety of settings. The results, however, are also mixed. When
the bassist sits down to his acoustic upright, there is a stronger sense of
unity as the trio works through such Moffett post-bop tunes as "G.E.M." and
"Kings And Queens." When he straps on one of his electrics, things go awry
with wanky bass lines dominating songs ("Free Raga" and "Rain Drops") that
already tend to lack momentum. One exception is the fusion and vocals
(from guest Maria Sarotri-Spencer) workout called "Jubilant." At its
weaker moments, Internet sounds like a bass clinic, but there is no doubt
about Moffett's ability. As such, this would also make for a good
programming pairing with the new Jaco Big Band.
- Jazzweek.com - Tad Henrickson
New York--Ingenious bassist, Charnett Moffett, stood center stage
at the Blue Note Jazz Club, surrounded by his accompaniment
consisting of Mulgrew Miller on piano; drummer Eric McPherson and
saxophonist Vincent Herring. Bass man, generally sideman, Moffett
takes the lead and understands how to pull strings in order to
cajole rapt respect from both his audience and his stringed
Charnett is a creative force. That is adeptly shown as he blends a
bit of theatrics with a whole lot of musical aplomb. The room stirs as Moffett
strokes his bass and his ensemble of acoustical arco and pizzicato guitars. The
instruments jump to attention while Moffett coaxes from each willing instrument
a haunting refrain. An acoustical magic takes place that turns the electrical
instrument into a sitar when playing Free Raga from his new CD “Internet.” “Icon
Blues,” “Jubilant,” and “Internet” follow among others; drawing sounds from his
guitar that only a masterful magician can manifest.
Moffett picks up his bass and plays another song from “Internet”
and the mood changes dramatically. He strokes; slow downward
strokes, cruising, pushing the bass, making it jam. He switches to
his electrical guitar making it zing, making it sing, while the
piano speaks, joining as two, becoming one. The sax peels,
accelerating, building. The drum beats, heart pounding -- building,
stroking, faster, faster, harder, wilder. Rhythms collide; thumping,
pounding, stroking fast, then faster and faster. It crescendos and
explodes -- POW! The crowd gasps, sigh, and then slowly let their
breath steady. It’s over. The music has climaxed. Moffett stands on
stage, exhausted. Sweat pouring from his every pore, a slight smile
adorns his face. He’s played his bolero; he’s spell bound his
audience and left them eager for more.
“I chose the name Internet for my new CD, because it seemed
apropos for the music I wanted to do on this particular project. I
thought it was a catchy name and it had something to do with the
play on names, ‘Internet,’ ‘Charnett,’ that kind of thing,”
explained Charnett about his latest CD offering. “This is a jazz
album but it is very open to other influences. No matter where you
are in the world, there is one sky. That is the concept of this
album, connecting people and music from all over the world together,
like the Internet. I have traditional jazz and free jazz on the CD.
There is folk, pop, rock. There are many forms of improvisation on
this CD,” claims the rhythm player.
Born a child prodigy, in New York City, Moffett attended
Juilliard and the Performing Arts at Manhattan College. The 39 year
old bassist has been playing professionally for nearly 25 years. As
a result, he is an exacting virtuoso who often leads as well as
serves as sideman in the bands of Ornette Coleman and Wynton
Marsalis. Charnett Moffett has proven to be a composer in his own
right with “Internet” being his ninth CD. The songs on Internet are
made up entirely of Moffett’s own compositions, except for his
version of the Star Spangled Banner.
Moffett first started performing in his father’s band when at 8
years old he traveled with the Moffett band to Japan. Born into a
family of musicians the recording “For the Love of Peace,” was
primarily a family affair which he recorded in 2004 on Piadrum
Records featuring his brothers Codaryl Cody Moffett on drums and
Mondre Moffett on trumpet. The recording also featured Scott Brown
on piano. Initially, Charnett, toured with the family band but eight
years later, he found himself touring with Wynton Marsalis whom he
remained with for a number of years. He went on to play with many
other jazz musicians which included a 9 year stint with Ornette
“Working with Ornette Coleman was wonderful. Coleman is an
institution into himself. Wynton Marsalis is an incredible artist
that strives for perfection and brings out the best in those who
play with him. McCoy Tyner taught me how to groove in the
environment and make the best of a situation. Tyner honed his craft
with Coltrane. I even played with Art Blakey so I have had the
opportunity to play with a lot of wonderful talent and each one has
taught me something. I feel I have taught them something, too. As
artists we learn from one another” stated Moffett.
“I believe a gift from a higher power put me on my road today in
terms of the instruments I play. I started out on drums and played
trumpet for a while and some piano. But the bass best expresses my
voice since I also do some things vocally on “Internet” – songs like
Enjoy your Life,” said the multi-talented musician who has also
scored music for film.
“Having been on tour and traveling for the last 6 or 7 years, I
get a view that you don’t often hear on the news. I think more
positive things are happening then reported. It might be that music
brings people together but personally I think in order to make
progress we should focus on the human aspect and see cultures in a
positive light. As I said, music brings people together, even if
it’s only for a short period of time,” remarked Charnett of his
world view. Moffett plans to tour with McCoy Tyner in upcoming
months. “I have been forming my own band for eternity. I play with
artists I felt comfortable with as part of the Charnett Moffett
band” said the father of two. “My band is a work in progress. I
continue to perform and sometimes I may do that in a solo capacity,
in a trio format, as a quartet, sextet, or even octet,” he claimed.
“Life moves on and things change. Everything you do comes back to
you. Each person knows whether they are in harmony with themselves
irrespective of what others may say. Ultimately, each of us answers
to our own heart.”
- Caribbean Life - Deardra Shuler 4/06
Bassist Charnett Moffett brings a collection of his basses for a happy
jazz celebration. He uses a basic trio of himself, pianist Stephen Scott
and drummer Eric McPherson. On two cuts, "Jubilant" and "Universal March,"
he uses drummer Amit Shamir and soprano saxophonist Aaron Spencer. Maria
Sartori Spencer sings a wordless vocal on "Jubilant."
The treat is hearing Moffett perform on several basses, including acoustic,
fretless, piccolo and bass guitar.
- The Portland Skanner (Dick's Picks) - Dick Bogle
While Charnett Moffett's 2004 album For the
Love of Peace was something of a family affair - since his brothers, sister
and wife pitched in- the bassist sticks to a piano-trio format this time for all
but two tracks. The spotlight stays on Moffett, who switches between
upright, fretless, piccolo basses and fretted bass guitar on the 17 tracks.
"G.E.M." and "Icon Blues" pay tribute to John
Coltrane's classic rhythm section and Ray Brown, respectively, and while each
track might conjure memories of their honorees, Moffett is no mere imitator. His
rock-solid tone, which evokes the authority of Mingus, sounds especially
impressive. On piccolo bass he possesses the clarity of a guitarist, and his
speed on the fretless bass is mind-boggling. All three instruments appear on "PTL,"
which sounds graceful and avoids the muddy pitfalls of such an arrangement.
But Internet occasionally sounds more
like a seminar on bass solos instead of a set of tunes, especially on the
fretless tracks. Some pieces get really repetitive, which only gets worse
when Maria Sartori-Spencer adds wordless vocals ("Jubilant") or, worse yet, when
Moffett himself sings simplistic lyrics.
Still, I have to admire his solo reading of
"The Star-Spangled Banner," where Moffett adds distortion and wah-pedal to his
upright and makes a bold statement that rivals Jimi Hendrix's version for guts
- JazzTimes Magazine - Mike Shanley
Internet (Piadrum 601) features bassist
Charnett Moffett with trio in a program that shows off his virtuosic ability on
several basses, both acoustic and electric (G.E.M./Icon Blues/PTL/Kings and
Queens/Coral/ Free Raga/ Jubilant/ Rain Drops/ Triumph/ Mr. O.C./ Wishful
Thinking/ Happy Dreams/ Internet/ Universal March/ Enjoy Your Life/
Star-Spangled Banner/ RAS. 71:38). His national anthem interpretation, a
bonus track, comes from an earlier album and recalls the stirring performance
that Jimi Hendrix gave the world many years ago at Woodstock. The other
songs are all originals, depicting a world wide web of impressions, from Tango,
Celtic music, and the Middle East, to Monk and the Blues. Moffett sings
two numbers with emotions heightened, and introduces a lovely wordless vocal
melody from Maria Sartori-Spencer. Two tracks with soprano saxophone
remain entirely forgettable, while the rest of the album presents this modern
bassist in a welcome glow with universal appeal. The album's title track
and another one, both featuring Moffett exploring his music alone through his
bass, carry the honors as session high points that demonstrate his superior
technical virtuosity in no uncertain terms (Moffett, b, el b, b g, vcl: Stephen
Scott, p, Synth: Eric McPherson, Amit Shamir, d; Scott Brown, J.S., p. Aaron
Spencer, ss; Maria Sartori-Spencer, vcl. Aug. 27-28, 2005, Englewood, NJ).
- Cadence Magazine - Hodgepodge and Shorties
©Cadence Magazine 2006. Published by
All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of contents prohibited without
written permission from publisher (except use of short quotes, please
Listeners looking for more jazz than there was on
Moffett’s previous set can certainly find it on this
approachable but serious CD. This is no complaint about
the preceding collection, meant to be not jazz, but
almost a family religious service, with music of such
high class as is due the Man Upstairs.
For sustained jazz performances by the super-bass of
Moffett, I suppose the places to go are still recordings
of his work as a sideman, obviously with McCoy Tyner,
and perhaps especially video footage of live gigs.
Presumably, Moffett simply doesn’t regard himself—at
least as yet—a musical creator on the same scale as his
He doesn’t, however, stint himself, or the listener,
in having Stephen Scott as pianist on so much of this
basically piano-bass-drums trio set with augmentations.
Scott’s gifts are plain, and reviews should mention when
a pianist has a sound of his or her own. We have to
wait for this through Moffett’s fearsome strumming at
the start, but “G.E.M.” soon lets us hear Moffett in
support of a strong-swinging pianist. “Icon Blues”
begins with Eric McPherson’s brushes, and then with that
lovely drummer collaborating, there’s more bass for the
Charnettophil: lovely theme, happy enough to let Scott’s
alternation of synthesizer and piano passages be fun.
Multi-tracking himself on piccolo bass, fretless bass,
and acoustic bass, Charnett displays Caribbean ambitions
on “PTL”, Scott doing ska-cum-reggae organ work before
the big bass takes a solo with McPherson’s brushwork.
Monty Alexander, eat your ackees! “Kings and Queens” has
ambitions only in the direction of the stunning piano
trio performance. “Coral” is a miniature for
unaccompanied bass, with a melody like that of an 18th
century operatic aria—for bass voice. There is some
lovely strumming-slapping of bass fiddle.
On “Free Raga”, Charnett seems to be asking some
guitarist with sitar ambitions to eat his chuppatty out.
Amit Shamir is on drums, and turns up again on
“Jubilant”, which is more Indo-Jazz Fusions with Maria
Sartori-Spencer delivering a hearty vocalise or
indo-scat, and Aaron Spencer playing soprano saxophone.
Charnett plays tribute to the blessed Pastorius on
fretless bass, and hangs on to the same axe with happy
result on “Rain Drops”, a trio number on which Scott
generates electronic atmospheric swirls, as well as
playing piano. On “Triumph”, the pianist goes sanctified
Caribbean, shows knowledge of Bach, and swings a
brilliant clean line over the empathic teamwork of
Charnett-Eric bass-drums. He has a nice lean sound, and
when he goes into the trendier sort of sub-Tyner
passage-work, he sometimes achieves a joyous parody,
sometimes selecting very telling lines. “Mr. O.C.”
brings back the Pastorius-bass, with echo and introduced
by more weather machine from a pianist able to keep
company with his acoustic instrument long enough to add
things. “Wishful Thinking” is piano trio with big
acoustic bass again, nice piano, and some Bach piano
over bass, before Charnett’s bow turns the same bull
fiddle briefly oriental. Have the items discussed in
this paragraph been a suite, and is “Happy Dreams” (echochambered
fretless bass with background electronics) still a part
of it? McPherson’s essential regardless, and Scott makes
a stunning little entry among all the rubber-burning of
the bouncing fretless bass.
And what about the acoustic bass performance with
curious clicking noises, called “Internet”, but starting
again in India, and proceeding to conjure a nice jazz
theme with enough demonstration of Charnett’s prowess
and its musicality to please potential listeners amazed
by his doings with Tyner and Co. “Universal March”
brings back the soprano player, has a mysterious J.S.
(Janet Shih?) on piano, and Charnett on piccolo bass.
Everybody gets together for a conclusion to the
Indo-Bach and whatever else the programme has gone into,
Charnett doing a sort of blues guitarist thing at the
beginning and in the end making this ensemble piece more
Encores seem to start thereafter, Charnett repeatedly
speech-singing with a deep resonance, like the late
bassist-vocalist Major Holley, the words “enjoy your
life”, with suggestions beyond mere hedonism. Well, he
is a religious guy. The track numbered B2 is
(deliberately, I hope) ghastly (as if “Enjoy Your Life”
wasn’t banal enough!). Echoing a pretty bad BBC play set
in Scotland and guest-starring Harvey Keitel,
Charnett—like the guitarist in the working men’s club in
that play—does “Star Spangled Banner”... but in, I
presume, deliberate parody of Jimi Hendrix (and with
sawing noises with strings on the fretboard which
suggest he has an extra hand or two as well). “RAS” is
the last title, with Scott Brown on piano, Charnett
playing bass guitar and singing. I hope he’s joking, but
the track’s so bad I won’t listen to it again: this is
something which I cannot say about the 14 items which I
do recommend are listened to. This is neither a dull,
nor a predictable record.
Robert R. Calder 5/06
The modern mainstream jazz trio is capable of spanning generations as well as
continents. With Charnett Moffett's latest recording, we feel the
universal appeal that his music delivers along with its magnetism. In a
program of 16 original compositions and one Jimi Hendrix-styled national anthem
interpretation, Moffett covers all the bases. His acoustic model walks and
converses with arms wide open, while his electric basses pick up a soulful
spirit to romp with.
"Free Raga" allows Moffett to capture the allure and mystique of the East, as
cultural preferences announce their authority. With drummer Amit Shamir
alongside, the bassist uses his many instruments to amplify deeply meditative
material. With fingers flying, Moffett matches the drummer's scattering
sticks stroke for stroke in a lucid conversation of honor and devotion.
"Icon Blues" allows the acoustic trio to reach a polar opposite, with its
down-home approach and and country charm. Moffett sings on two tracks with
a hip, urban sentiment that drives its message incessantly over fast-moving
rhythm. The uplifting power of his vocal selections proves mesmerizing.
"Internet," the album's title track, comes with a theme that could derive
from any country in the world. Its majestic drive, which Moffett delivers
along with acoustic bass, comes with built-in-emotion and a palette off colorful
textures. It's the album's high point. The same kind of message
comes from "Coral," which he also delivers strongly, alone with his acoustic
bass. The tow tracks with soprano saxophone don't fare as well. Both
carry an Irish air that proves universal, and one includes intriguing wordless
vocals from Maria Sartori-Spencer. However, both pieces eschew lyrical
conversation in favor of happy-feet rhythms and light-hearted gestures.
From the tango-esque Landscape of "Kings and Queens," to the lush,
contemporary backdrop of "Happy Dreams" and the witty, Monkish nature of
"Triumph," Moffett covers a considerable portion of the jazz spectrum.
Recommended, the bass tastes found on this release appeal to a broad audience:
young, old, far, and wide.
- Jazz Improv Magazine - Jim Santella
Charnett Moffett is a virtuosic bassist who learned bandmanship during
two-year stints with Wynton Marsalis' quintet (Moffett entering at age 16)
and Ornette Coleman, plus work with Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Arturo
Sandoval, and others. Internet contains some fine interactional
work, but it's overridingly a bass showcase. One or two songs at a time is
about right - perhaps the jazzy opener "G.E.M." and the tranquil "Rain Drops."
You have lots of choices here. The album has whopping 17 tracks totaling
more than 71 minutes, and everything but "Star-Spangled Banner" was composed by
Moffett. OK, therein lies a clue about what's wrong with this as an album.
The leader is all over the place stylewise, more or less depending on his
instrument. He is just amazing on whatever he plays, but when he chooses
the electric piccolo bass, think funky guitar music, and on that
Hendrix-inspired "Banner" he overuses a wah-wah/reverb effect. The titles
(including "Happy Dreams,""Jubilant," and "Enjoy Your Life") tell you how upbeat
the theme is here, and I love that. But when Moffett sings on a couple of
the "jubilant" cuts toward the end, we have been escorted far from jazz. I
look forward to hearing more of the "jazz Moffett" when he plays in McCoy
Tyner's septet at the Lensic Performing Arts Center this July.
- Pasatiempo - Paul Weideman
Bassist Charnett Moffett knocked folks out at his appearance in New
Orleans earlier this summer with leader/pianist McCoy Tyner. He danced
with his upright bass, moving it around as if it was a less sizable and
stately instrument. He swung it, plucked it, bowed it, slapped it and
actually almost stole the show from the mighty McCoy. Here, Moffett
enjoys the total freedom of a primarily trio setting, employing the
acoustic bass as well as electric and fretless basses and the piccolo
bass. He’s got technique to burn no matter his choice of axe or style,
and he moves from the classically influenced “Coral”—an interlude of
sorts on which he plays solo—to the funk of “Enjoy Your Life,” when he
steps to the microphone to sing. Matching Moffett’s chameleon-like
musical nature, Stephen Scott is constantly switching from piano to
synthesizer to create different moods. All the material except for “The
Star Spangled Banner” come from Moffett’s pen and deal successfully with
varying moods, such as the rapid fire “Jubilant” with wordless vocals by
Maria Satori-Spencer with Aaron Spencer on soprano sax, and the
optimistic “Wishful Thinking.” Moffett’s vibrant personality and sense
of playfulness shines through, particularly on “Icon Blues.” He, pianist
Scott Brown and drummer Amit Shamir have tons of fun on the closer, the
electrified, funkified, screamer “RAS.” Surprisingly, somehow, most of
these cuts are quite short by jazz standards, which makes the album of
71:38 fly by.
OffBeat.com - Geraldine Wyckoff 9/06
Charnett Moffett is one of the greatest bassists of the early 21st century, a fact that is reinforced on every selection of this CD. Moffett completely dominates the music, which only has brief spots for pianist Stephen Scott. Every number except "The Star Spangled Banner" was penned by Moffett who does his best to give the date variety despite the constant emphasis on bass solos. Best among the selections are the jazz waltz "Coral" and the catchy "Jubilant," which has solid contributions by Aaron Spencer on soprano and singer Maria Sartori-Spencer. Other tunes include blues, one-chord vamps, fairly free improvs and a couple of very eccentric vocals by the leader. But overall, Internet is chiefly recommended to those who love the sound of the acoustic bass.