Charnett Moffett: For the Love of Peace

The opening moments of For the Love of Peace set the standard for what will follow. “In the Beginning” starts with Charnett Moffett bowing his bass, pulling thick rich tones from his instrument that buttress the somber accompaniment of his brother Mondre’s trumpet and the cascading piano textures played by a person identified as “J.S.” (Scott Brown plays piano on the majority of the disc.) After this introduction, the piece follows the structure of a raga, with Moffett standing front-and-center in a group that also includes his brother Codaryl on drums. Listen carefully because it’s easy to miss his wife, Angela, and sister Charisse’s wordless vocals that linger in the background.

Moffett, a tireless virtuoso whose career has included lengthy stints in the bands of Ornette Coleman and Wynton Marsalis, has created a highly personal work that heads in several different directions but always manages to sound focused and spotlight the leader’s staggering technique. “I Love The Lord” is built on an A Love Supreme-type vamp, with a theme gradually taking shape in the middle of Mondre’s trumpet solo. “Numbers” heads in a free-bop direction-what Moffett calls the “freedom with discipline” concept-with the four musicians building to a frenzy that never collapses on itself. This time Moffett bows so feverishly, it’s a wonder he didn’t start a fire.

A number of tracks seem to catch the group in the middle of performance. In two cases this makes for tracks that last less then a minute. On the other hand, the title track works as a suite for solo bass, which leave my ears impressed, but it could have been shorter than 10 and a half minutes.