Charnett Moffett

Treasure

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For Charnett Moffett's eleventh CD as a leader, he has chosen to play acoustic upright, but mainly electric bass guitar in settings that have a distinct Eastern Indian flavor. Surrounded by sitar, harmonium, and tabla, Moffett's popping, funky bass melds into an ethnic fusion that also taps on American jazz or rhythm & blues. The combination is very palatable, arresting, and captivating, considering the concept and high virtuosity the bassist has always employed. Moffett has always been curious and able to challenge himself outside conventional jazz, on this date, he occasionally goes into speed-demon mode, working with spoken word vocals and even a bit of country and eastern fusion. Bass clarinetist Oran Etkin is used effectively on a dense, Asiatic parallel to the famous Nat Adderley standard "Work Song" titled "Swing Street," and tapping guitarist Stanley Jordan guests on two tracks, specifically the quick waltz "The Celebration" aside a small horn section. Casimir Liberski is the sleeper sideman of the group, playing distinctly spare piano, while Moffett really digs into the raga arena during "Say La La" with the Kugo harp playing of Tomoko Sugawara. But it's clear that Moffett is the leader, playing main stem lines on every track, taking many solos, or forcefully pushing the envelope with his instrument. It's another bold statement from a fine instrumentalist who has always deserved wider recognition.

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