Bass Legend Charnett Moffett Delivers Love Letter To Humanity on Trio/Quartet Album New Love,
Out Friday, June 11, 2021 via Motéma
Live Plus Live Streamed Residency at Yoshi’s Oakland in June and July
“There’s much to like about New Love, from the high-wire group interplay to the leader’s melodic invention and, of course, Moffett’s stunning bass…the playing is fresh and effervescent in the extreme” — TEXTURA
Internationally acclaimed bassist-composer and bandleader Charnett Moffett further refines a virtuosic sound on New Love, his seventh leader release for Motéma Music, and 17th overall. An exploratory and vibrant follow-up to his 2018 recording Bright New Day, the album expresses Moffett’s deeply personal permutations of love and an embracing of change as part of life’s progression: “Music is a universal language that speaks to all people. In life, human beings are in the constant process of change — whether an individual is conscious of this process or not.” New Love will be available on all platforms on June 11, 2021.
“Charnett Moffett’s latest reminds us once again, that his quicksilver imagination matches the speed of his fingers… it’s a conference of multifaceted tonalities and intuition.” — DOWNBEAT
The first single, “Spirit & Bride Song” premiered in March via Afropop Worldwide where Ben Richmond touted the song as “music where the rhythm instruments take the melody and vocals hold the beat.” In April, the musician unmasked the second single via Bass Magazine, where the title track was teased as a “sonic treat” for listeners, and last month, Jazzwise Magazine premiered Moffett’s buoyant anthem, “Love For The People”.
To celebrate the release, Moffett will present a virtual tour of 19 separate sets to be streamed from his live residency at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California. On June 23, 24, 25, 30, & July 1-2, The Charnett Moffett Duo feat. Jana Herzen will stream sets at 6pm, 7pm, 8 pm from Yoshi’s Tatami Stage. Then for the finale of the residency, at 7 pm on July 25, adding drummer Corey Garcia, The Charnett Moffett Trio will convene for the first time since the studio date for a celebratory concert on Yoshi’s main stage. Links to live and streaming ticket options for all shows can be found at Yoshis.com and Charnettmoffett.com.
Approaching a range of sounds, traditions, and original repertoire with vitality and signature authenticity, on NEW LOVE, the prolific artist welcomes the dimension of space across twelve effervescent tracks. “On this album, we used different concepts, musically,” he says. “I wanted to use a sound different from the last album that would allow me to have more space, for creative reasons.”
“One of the best bassists on the American Scene” — JAZZASEIZHEUR
A melodious conversationalist and reflexive listener, Moffett features the fretless electric bass, often in its upper register, alongside fearless collaborators Jana Herzen on guitar and vocals, Corey Garcia and rising-star Malick Koly on drums and Irwin Hall on tenor and soprano saxophones and alto flute. Interplay among the artists is an album virtue.
“When you’re using the bass as a lead instrument — as a voice, to create melodies — and you have more space, the sound of the instrument can resonate more and be heard in a more complete way for its ‘new’ position,” says Moffett, who pared down the ensemble from quintet to trio and quartet for New Love, leaving out piano.
Foregoing rehearsal before the studio date intentionally, the artists learned their new material on site with Moffett at the creative helm. “He taught us the parts at the session,” says Herzen, who contends the response time among band members is part of his ensemble sound — the artists working closely with one another, in various contexts, through the years. “Call and response is just a natural result of that process,” she says. “Everything you hear becomes part of a high-level conversation you’re having together.”
“The American bassist Charnett Moffett is something of a living legend. – JAZZ THING
Responding not only to one another, but to the moment in the moment, the ensemble emits a flash energy on New Love that becomes as an ethereal band member. “We’re all listening and creating at the same time,” says Herzen, “and listening for what the other musicians are doing is constantly affecting what we play.”
The record’s pervading vocal quality elevates components of conversation, creating a lively, interactive and purposeful dialogue from one song to the next. This quality emerges overtly in lyrics and spoken word, and less explicitly in instrumental sections and distinctive dialogue among collaborators.
“He has the sound of instrument, technique, and agility comparable to the legendary Jaco Pastorius.” – JAZZ PRESS
The first five tracks feature trio members: Moffett, Herzen, and Garcia. “Swinging In The Realms” aligns Moffett and Herzen in lyrical unison before the two enter an improvised counterpoint that serves as a conversational centerpiece for the album—free, responsive, spatially dynamic. The first track also lays the foundation for spontaneity-sparked call and response that pulses throughout the program. Moffett’s use of wah-wah on “We Remember” enhances the human vocal quality shimmering across New Love. “Little Flowers” teems with tenderness, showcasing the artists’ collective capacity for intimate self-expression. Inspired by Bach and Jobim, “Today” features Moffett and Herzen in tandem melodic lead, and Garcia’s virtuosic cymbal work, elegant and driving.
Many consider Moffett a legacy artist in the tradition of harmolodics, innovated by Ornette Coleman and interpreted uniquely, depending on the individual artist’s perspective. Moffett’s trio leans in deeply to this tradition on “Higher Dimensions.”
“As is the case with bebop, R&B and hip hop music, many different artists can have their own version of harmolodics,” he says, “a concept that has a precise order that allows artists to play free of keys and to focus on the expression of what they really want to communicate.”
Hall’s tenor saxophone first appears on “I Didn’t Know,” enhancing the ensemble sound with melodious arcs, responsive and resolute. He then takes the first solo on “Flying In The Air,” artfully falling in and out of focus between lead improviser and melodic accompanist throughout the rest of the track.
Perhaps best known — for the moment — as touring drummer for the recently departed Wallace Roney, Malick Koly lends his stylistic depth and resonating melody-driven approach to tracks eight and 11, “ETQ” and “Love For The People,” respectively. Meanwhile, Moffett’s vocals and lyrics take the lead on “New Love,” and remain a key focus for the final four tracks. For this conceptual transition, deeply resonant on New Love, Moffett says he gleaned inspiration from his relationship and transformative love for Herzen, his long-time collaborator, and recently wed bride. “Relationships, creativity, where you are in time and space in your life — all these elements are prevalent in this new recording.”
New Love concludes with the infectious world groove of “Spirit & Bride Song,” leading to the jubilant tones of the anthemic hosanna, “Rejoice.”
”[It’s music] at the intersection of swing, spiritual and free jazz where the rhythm instruments take the melody and vocals hold the beat.” – Afropop.org
MORE ABOUT CHARNETT MOFFETT
An artist with an unusual abundance of spirit, chops, and charisma, Charnett Moffett has released seventeen acclaimed albums and toured the world as one of the most innovative and versatile acoustic and electric bassists in jazz. He debuted on Blue Note Records in 1987. After signing with several other labels throughout the years, he found his home at Motéma in 2008. Moffett’s career began as a prodigy, appearing in his father Charles Moffett’s band at age 8. In addition to his leadership career, Moffett has collaborated as a “bassist to the stars” with such pivotal artists as Wynton Marsalis, Art Blakey, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Tony Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, Arturo Sandoval, Anita Baker, Stanley Jordan, Harry Connick, Jr., David Sanborn, Branford Marsalis, Bette Midler. He has appeared on more than 200 albums, many of them considered classics.
“Supremely versatile…Moffett is a master of post-bop jazz whose dizzying versatility more than earns him his place among the world’s best jazz bassists.”– U Discover Music: 50 Best Bassists In Jazz
Label: Motéma Music (motema.com)
Catalogue Number: MTM0374 (CD)
Artist website: charnettmoffettbass.net
CHARNETT MOFFETT: NEW LOVE
- Swinging in the Realms 4:02
- We Remember 4:53
- Little Flowers 3;29
- Today 3:22
- Higher Dimensions 3:30
- I Didn’t Know 3:19
- Flying in the Air 3:02
- ETQ 4:48
- New Love 4:38
- Spirit & Bride Song 4:52
- Love for the People 5:50
- Rejoice 3:57
All music composed and produced by Charnett Moffett (Nett Man’s Music/ASCAP)
Charnett Moffett: fretless electric bass; vocals (tracks 9–12)
Jana Herzen: guitar; vocals (10–12)
Corey Garcia: drums (all except 8 & 11)
Malick Koly: drums (tracks 8 & 11)
Irwin Hall: tenor saxophone 6, 7,11; soprano saxophone (8,11); alto flute (9)
Recorded on December 3 & 4, 2019 at Pinch Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Recorded and mixed by Akihiro Nishimura
Mastered by Alex DeTurk at Bunker Studios