Charnett Moffett

Music From Our Soul

Born and bred in jazz, Charnett Moffett is a bass wonderman. Having supported everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Ornette Coleman, issuing 13 albums under his own name in the past 30 years—including solo bass works and rare feats of overdubbing—Moffett here plays hard, easily and with longtime friends. It sounds as if there’s little they’d rather do.

Stanley Jordan fingerpicks like a harpist and adds piano strokes to create the title track’s folksy bed, getting a soft push from Jeff “Tain” Watts and fluidity from Moffett’s throbbing fretless electric bass; Pharoah Sanders presides over all in benediction. As on “Freedom,” with a pop-reggae feel that Watts shifts into swing before Moffett’s climactic electric solo, the instrument’s sound is low and rich and buttery. Using it dynamically, Moffett leads from the lowest register.

On upright, he and pianist Cyrus Chestnut dive deep into “Mood Indigo,” graced by drummer Victor Lewis on brushes. Then the album’s prevailing mode arrives: the mid- to uptempo, somewhat scrappy jamming exemplified by “So What” and “Love In The Galaxies,” on which drummer Mike Clark bonds with Moffett and guitarist Jordan. “Mediterranean” and “Just Need Love” are fretless electric features, but “Sound World Suite” is Moffett’s most expansive improvised fretless statement. “Celestial Dimensions” demonstrates his solo pizzicato and arco mastery. The music flows—it’s fun, in the moment and soulful.