Charnett Moffett

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COMPOSERS: Charnett Moffett
LABELS: Motema
ALBUM TITLE: Music from our Soul
WORKS: Music from our Soul
PERFORMER: Charnett Moffett (bass), Pharoah Sanders (sax), Stanley Jordan (guitar & piano), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Victor Lewis, Mike Clark (drums)


Bass-player Charnett Moffett continues his collaboration with some major figures here. Sanders, once considered a free-jazz enfant terrible, has long been absorbed into the mainstream. On his three tracks he combines sinewy lyricism with gravitas and echoes of the old days, especially on ‘Freedom Swing’, where everybody cuts loose, Sanders subtly referencing and Moffett openly quoting Coltrane’s seminal ‘A Love Supreme’. Stanley Jordan, celebrated in the 1980s for his ‘hammering-on’ guitar technique, is now properly appreciated for the fluency of his style. Pianist Chestnut’s contributions are exemplary. The line-up permutates for different tracks, most recorded at gigs, and each blends beautifully.

All but two of the compositions are Moffett’s. They evince considerable range and skill in form and feel, embracing a variety of elements from funk to hints of country. Alternating acoustic and electric basses as the mood of a piece requires, Moffett is a remarkable virtuoso on both but never stoops to hollow grandstanding.


Barry Witherden