How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Released in 1995, Charnett Moffett's Planet Home represents a tremendous musical accomplishment. Coming from a successful musical family, Moffett has been playing the bass since early childhood, and he has been recognized on the scene for quite some time as a master of the instrument. What Moffett had yet to do prior to Planet Home was delineate just what he was going to do with all the technique and experience he'd accumulated at such a young age. Evidently, he intends to create.
With the assistance of Geoff Keezer on piano/synthesizer and Victor Lewis on drums, Moffett creates not only individually moving compositions, but a total work of poise and clarity. This is musicianship at its finest: devoid of genre constraints, fluid, innovative, and dedicated to that finest of all artistic traits, free expression. Moffett's compositions range from the solemn solo opening track "Aura" to the harder, fusion-funk oriented "Peace within the Struggle" to the almost classically expressionistic piece "Free Your Mind." Moffett ends the album with a tremendous and bold interpretation of "The Star Spangled Banner," the only track on Planet Home he did not compose.
Quoted in the liner notes, Moffett explains, "I know I can play the bass. Now I just want to concentrate on making strong musical statements, not just as a soloist but as a conceptualist as well." Certainly, with Planet Home Moffett demonstrates his mastery of technique, but he also attains his own aspirations, proving himself a composer capable of a cohesive, challenging, and deeply stirring musical statement.
For the listener totally unaware of Moffett's work, this album will definitely surprise and enchant, but for those already familiar with either his previous work or his later live performance, this recording deserves close scrutiny.
Track Listing: Aura; Brothers & Sisters; Planet Home; Peace Within the Struggle; The Jam; Free Your Mind; Parade; Touch Tone; Last Run; Star Spangled Banner.
Personnel: Charnett Moffett: acoustic, fretless and piccolo basses; Geoff Keezer: piano, synthesizer; Victor Lewis: drums.