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Charnett Moffett adds a link to the Ornette Coleman chain


Charnett Moffett, "Music from Our Soul" (Motema).

Has there ever been an innovative jazz musician who inspired more jazz families than Ornette Coleman, whose own son Denardo recorded with him on drums?

Coleman's old Fort Worth tenor-playing friend Dewey Redman had a son named Joshua who went on to become a major figure in the tenorist's trade. And one of Coleman's most musical drummers in his entire career, Charles Moffett, had a son who has been, for three decades now, one of the great electric fretless bass players in all of jazz. The disc is intended to celebrate Charnett's career but it also, in no small way, celebrates Charnett's extended family. His old employer Pharoah Sanders plays on three selections and Charnett's frequent fellow travelers -- guitarist Stanley Jordan, pianist Cyrus Chestnut and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts -- turn this into a Charnett mini-fest. The intention of it was to give an indication of what Moffett's NettWork band had been playing in 35 club and festival dates in 14 countries over three years.

The only drawback is that the fragmentary nature of the disc prohibits it, somewhat, from being a well-assembled record. But you'll hear playing by friends Chetnut and Jordan here that is genuinely thrilling. "For Those Who Know" finds everyone keeping up with Watts' phenomenal rocket tempo, even Stanley Jordan on some of the most passionate expressionism he's ever put on record.

3 stars (out of four)


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