All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Charnett Moffett: The Bridge

Franz A. Matzner By

Sign in to view read count
The sound of Charnett Moffett's bass resonates almost instantly straight to the depths of the soul. Over his career, Moffett has played in a tremendous variety of settings and explored seemingly every avenue, alley, and obscure landscape of both the upright and electric bass. Now with his first solo bass CD, The Bridge, audiences can experience Moffett's artisanship in its most concentrated form.

Comprised of 20 pieces, The Bridge covers a lot of territory, acting as a portrait of Moffett's musical experience. Included on the album are touchstones to the many stages of his long career, from his early work with Wynton Marsalis to his run with the Manhattan Jazz Quartet, to his explosive experiments as a bandleader, as well as his partnership with McCoy Tyner. However, though touching on these various aspects of his development, it is not a simple march through time, but instead a distillation of the various components into a captivating whole.

Moffett begins with a blistering take on "Caravan," followed immediately by "Eleanor Rigby" which in Moffett's hands undergoes a kind of sublimation that exposes the devastating salience of the original's commentary on the human condition. This ability to pair down and purify represents one of Moffett's signature abilities which he applies throughout The Bridge. A second powerful example is his brief 44-second rendition of "Nature Boy." Boldly approaching this classic, Moffett inverts the more usual jazz methodology of expanding on a tune's basic parts to instead render it into its most essential, emotive elements.

The remaining 18 selections continue this pattern, tapping both icons of the jazz repertoire, like Charles Mingus' "Haitian Fight Song" and a medley of Thelonious Monk works, and pop tunes like Sting's "Fragile." Moffett also contributes 8 original compositions that provide some additional standout moments, such as the Middle Eastern-themed piece "Kalengo" on which Moffett integrates pizzicato and bowed techniques in a virtuoso display. In fact, Moffett's bow work on this and several other pieces, including Miles Davis' "All Blues" and the closing, electric-tinged "Free Your Mind," represent some of the most redolent passages on the album.

No recording can capture the distinct and uncannily haunting sound of Moffett's tone when experienced live, but The Bridge is an exceptionally actualized statement delivered by the practiced hand of a master during a resurgence of his creative powers. (It should be noted that The Bridge will be followed closely by an ensemble album, and was previewed by a marathon run of solo performances in New York.)

In the end, as impressive as Moffett's technical facility on the bass and compositional talents are, it is his emotive clarity, the ability to cut to the core, that ultimately captures the imagination and moves the listener's inner being. His is a rare capacity to reach out—sometimes with only one perfectly articulated note—to touch the deepest aspects of our spirits and carry us forward.

Track Listing: Caravan; Eleanor Rigby; Black Codes; Fragile; Haitian Fight Song; Kalengo; Bow Song; Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho Rolling in the Deep; Skip Hop; The Slump; Monks Medley Round Midnight, Well You Neednt and Rhythm A Ning; Oversun; Swinging Etude; Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit; Truth; The Bridge Solo Bass Works; Nature Boy; Things Aint What They Used To Be; All Blues; Free Your Mind; Bonus Video The Bridge Solo Bass Works

Personnel: Charnett Moffett: Bass

Title: The Bridge | 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 Orientation CD/LP/Track Review
Orientation
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Romaria CD/LP/Track Review
Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! CD/LP/Track Review
You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Autres Paysages CD/LP/Track Review
Autres Paysages
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Elvesang CD/LP/Track Review
Elvesang
by John Kelman
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Necessary Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Necessary Arrangements
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana" CD/LP/Track Review Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "66 67" CD/LP/Track Review 66 67
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 9, 2017
Read "Cluster Swerve" CD/LP/Track Review Cluster Swerve
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "Vintage Christmas Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Vintage Christmas Trio
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Uncharted Waters" CD/LP/Track Review Uncharted Waters
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 11, 2017