Charnett Moffett

For the Love of Peace

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Although Charnett Moffett has considerable potential as a musician and a composer, he hasn't always lived up to it. The acoustic/electric bassist has recorded some excellent albums (including Planet Home and Still Life, both on Evidence), but he has come out with some weak, forgettable ones as well; Beauty Within is arguably the worst offender. Moffett can be great as a post-bop, fusion, or avant-garde player, although some of his contributions to smooth jazz in the late '80s and early '90s were downright embarrassing. For the Love of Peace, thankfully, is among his more noteworthy efforts. Most of this 2003 date falls into the acoustic post-bop category, and Moffett (who wrote all of the material himself) brings a highly spiritual outlook to this project. Those who appreciate the sort of post-bop spirituality that Charles Lloyd, Pharoah Sanders, Yusef Lateef, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk were known for in the '60s and '70s will appreciate where Moffett is coming from on thoughtful items like "The Shepherd," "I Love the Lord," and "Mercy and Grace." Many of the selections are greatly influenced by traditional Indian raga music, and at times, Moffett plays his acoustic bass as though it were a sitar or a South Indian vina (also spelled veena). To a large degree, For the Love of Peace is, as Sly Stone would say, a family affair. Scott Brown appears on acoustic piano, but most of the participants are relatives of the leader, including brothers Mondre (trumpet, fl├╝gelhorn) and Codaryl Moffett (drums). Angela Moffett is featured on a few spoken word items, but for the most part, this is an instrumental album -- and while For the Love of Peace isn't quite as essential as Planet Home or Still Life, it's a soulful and pleasing demonstration of Charnett Moffett's talents as a bassist/composer.

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