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Spirit of Sound
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Charnett Moffett (vocals, acoustic bass, upright bass, fretless bass, drums, tabla); Jana Herzen, Amareia Moffett, Tessa Souter (vocals); Angela Moffett (spoken vocals, tamboura); Oran Etkin (clarinet, tenor saxophone); Marc Cary (piano); Babatunde Lea (percussion).
  • Audio Mixers: Anthony Ruotolo; Charnett Moffett.
  • Liner Note Author: Mary Ann Topper.
  • Recording information: Avatar Studios, NYC (11/24/2010/07/25/2012).
  • Photographer: Rebecca Meek.
  • Arranger: Charnett Moffett.
  • Charnett Moffett's 2013 album, Spirit of Sound, is an atmospheric, exotic, and often hypnotic set of songs showcasing his virtuoso skills as a bassist. Although not a solo bass album like his other 2013 release, Bridge: Solo Bass Works, Spirit of Sound is a highly bass-centric album with many of the songs built around Moffett's serpentine basslines. In the liner notes, the album is described as having been designed as a sonic journey for the listener and that is quite an apt concept. Moffett sets the tone for this journey with his solo opening cut, "Bassland," which features him improvising on an expansive Indian raga and free jazz-leaning motif. The Eastern influence is carried throughout Spirit of Sound, which means that, as a whole, the album leans toward a jazz meets world fusion vibe. Joining Moffett here is a stellar cast of equally accomplished and adventurous musicians, including his son, drummer Charnett "Max" Moffett, pianist Marc Cary, percussionist Babatunde Lea, and reed player Oran Etkin, as well as Moffett's wife, actress Angela Moffett, who supplies several spoken word segments set to music. Also featured is Moffett's daughter, vocalist Amareia Moffett, on the haunting, Asian-influenced "Opera." In some ways, the album brings to mind the similarly exploratory and Eastern-influenced '70s albums of pocket trumpeter Don Cherry, albeit with a more contemporary jazz sheen to the production. Ultimately, as the title implies, Spirit of Sound is a soulful, deeply personal, and highly engaging album. ~ Matt Collar
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