The Jazzcat

Charnett Moffett at Catalinas Bar and Grill

by on May.10, 2006, under News


Additional Photos

One of today’s finest bass players is here at Catalina Bar and Grill tonight. If you are not

here, I sure hope you have some sort of viable excuse. Music is the passion

that feeds the soul and the sound of Charnett’s bass is the dip in the cool ass

walk of jazz.


I thought tonight was initially suppose to feature a dear

friend and jazz saxophone legend himself Mr. Prince Lasha. Perhaps many of you

may not be familiar but, the Prince grew up with Ornette Coleman and played

with cats like Eric Dolphy, Sonny Simmons, Elvin Jones and Charles Moffett and

was a big influence on Charnett’s musical upbringing. However, certain

circumstances lead the trio to be featured which includes Tigran Mamasyan on

piano and Charnette Moffett on drums.


I bet you are thinking how can Charnett be playing on bass

and drums, is he that talented? Well, when you are raised in the music, you are

obliged to bring one up as well. On drums this evening is Charnette Max Moffett .

How fitting that the son of a bass player and the grandson of a drummer would

contribute to keep the family torch of jazz music burning for future



Tigran likes to feel the keys before he plays. No really, he

runs his hands over the instrument to feel its texture. Smooth, cool, weighted

and engineered perfectly to express his exact sentiments at the precise time he

wishes to. It looks like a ritual of giving thanks for the creation that brings

him together as one with the piano. He always keeps his fingers in close

proximity to the keys intangibly connecting him to the spirit of the music.


Usually when a bass player pulls out his bow, you are in for

a beautiful mellow tone. With Charnett, you not only get that, but also a trip

to India, Italy or any

other far off exotic land. His skills are mesmerizing and most people have

never seen or heard a bass played like this before. Tapping the strings with

the end of the bow in perfect percussive rhythm produces a sound that is quite

distinct. He then switches to electric not just for the funk, but to serenade

as well. There is so much to be said and so many languages to say it in and

Charnette seems to be well versed in the multitude of musical vernaculars.


The piano has ears. Tigran can hear the nuances and dance

through, with and around the music. Charnett Max is keeping the proud name of

the Moffett in the history books. Father and son is already a strong statement

in and of itself. When the two share music together, the love, admiration and

mutual respect that the bloodline of the two generations have for each other

makes you feel that the future of jazz music will be bright for us all.


Charnett’s new album is called “Internet” and just like the

title implies, his global vision literally takes you all over the world and

back. Charnett encourages the audience to clap to the rhythm of one of his

songs. Audience participation is required for a couple of Charnette’s pieces. He

coaxed us with, “Come on LA!” I felt so much responsibility to represent all of

you who were not there; I had to clap three times as loud. When the young Charnett takes his solo, you can see the look

on dad’s face that seems to say, “That’s right son, just like we practiced”


“Internet” is a plethora of notes, tones, slaps and

harmonics that sing! Charnett does a rendition of our national anthem, “America” which

would be killin’ for the opening of any major sporting event.  “Mr. OC” was written for Ornette Coleman who,

along with daddy Charles Moffett , shared half of their names to bestow upon the

bassist that we all know today. This tune is played on electric bass and

exemplifies the softer, more gentler side of the man.  

image imageimageimage

Great musicians will take their instruments well beyond

their original intention. Charnette expresses himself in musical conversations,

his concern for humanity and through the music he expresses the joys, pains and

elations of life. The motto that he leaves you with is “Enjoy your Life, the

Gift is Love for All”.


LeRoy Downs

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