2

Charnett Moffett: Spirit Of Sound

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Charnett Moffett: Spirit Of Sound 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

More Articles

Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read Good Merlin CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Boston, 1954" CD/LP/Track Review Boston, 1954
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Gratitude" CD/LP/Track Review Gratitude
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Hybrido - From Rio to Wayne Shorter" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrido - From Rio to Wayne Shorter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Ha Noi Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by John Sharpe
Published: March 31, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.