All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Charnett Moffett: Spirit Of Sound

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Bassist Charnett Moffett's first two releases on the Motéma imprint came out two years apart; his third and fourth releases for the same label—The Bridge: Solo Bass Works (Motéma Music, 2013) and the outing under discussion here—arrive a mere three months apart. His working pace has clearly quickened, but the quality of the music hasn't suffered for it. Both The Bridge: Solo Bass Works and Spirit Of Sound present an artist, interpreter, composer and conceptualist in his prime.

Moffett used his first release of 2013 to showcase his virtuosity and skill in delivering songs. His high level bass chops are also on display here, but this album is about creating soundscapes, not out-and-out songs. (Middle) Eastern tinged auras, circling patterns and swirling ideals are all part of this production, and "production" is the key word in that statement; Moffett, label head/label mate/duo partner Jana Herzen and manager/producer Mary Ann Topper shaped the album and gave it a glistening, celestial vibe.

The personnel on Spirit Of Sound changes from track to track, as various family members and label mates drop in and out, but the consistent presence of Moffett on bass(es), Angela Moffett on tamboura, and Max Moffett on drums creates a supportive foundation throughout. In a traditional sense, the guests are underutilized, but in the context of this album concept, they deliver what's expected. Amareia Moffett adds some wordless vocals to the underwhelming "Opera," Tessa Souter does the same on the bouncy, hippie-ish "Natural Heritage," and Herzen follows suit on the semi-psychedelic "Swing Raga." Angela Moffett rounds out the vocalist roster, reciting E. E. Cummings' words on "Seeker Of Truth" and Emily Dickinson's work on "Hope." Babatunde Lea adds some percussive coloring on a few tracks, pianist Marc Cary makes an appearance on one piece and multi-reedist Oran Etkin shows up twice, but none of them make a big splash; they simply fit into the overall musical formula of the day.

Much of this music is overly repetitious in nature, with vamping patterns aplenty, but Moffett's ever-stupendous bass work is the X factor that brings excitement and a sense of surprise into the picture. His technique, taste and overall conception for construction turns the potentially-bland into a flavorful sonic stew.

Track Listing: Bassland; Seeker Of Truth; Opera; Hope; Natural Heritage; Swing Raga; Blues Walk Groove; Overpass; Lonely Woman; For Those Who Know; Spirit Of Sound.

Personnel: Charnett Moffett: acoustic upright bass, fretless electric bass, piccolo bass guitar, vocals; Angela Moffett: tamboura, spoken word (2, 4); Charnett "Max" Moffett: drums, tabla, vocals (4); Marc Cary: piano (10); Oran Etkin: clarinet (4), tenor saxophone (8); Babatunde Lea: percussion (4, 6, 8); Amareia Moffett: vocals (3); Tessa Souter: vocals (5); Jana Herzen: vocals 6).

Title: Spirit Of Sound | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Motema Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Music From Our Soul

Music From Our Soul

Motéma Music
2017

buy
The Bridge

The Bridge

Motema Music
2013

buy
 

The Bridge - Solo...

Evidence Music, Inc.
2013

buy
Spirit Of Sound

Spirit Of Sound

Motema Music
2013

buy
The Art of Improvisation

The Art of...

Motema Music
2010

buy
Treasure

Treasure

Motema Music
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Locked & Loaded CD/LP/Track Review
Locked & Loaded
by John Kelman
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Long Story Short CD/LP/Track Review
Long Story Short
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Awase CD/LP/Track Review
Awase
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 26, 2018
Read Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich CD/LP/Track Review
Invisible Touch At Taktlos Zurich
by John Sharpe
Published: May 26, 2018
Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read "Whisper to the Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Whisper to the Wind
by Jim Olin
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Threes" CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "Twio" CD/LP/Track Review Twio
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2018
Read "Blow, Strike & Touch" CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Dedication" CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Lucus" CD/LP/Track Review Lucus
by Don Phipps
Published: January 25, 2018