Nettwork Trio: Stanley Jordan, Charnett Moffet, & Victor Lewis
Appearing on over 200 recordings, Charnett Moffett is a veritable bass legend and has one of the most distinguished careers in jazz. His father Charles was a drummer with Ornette Coleman, and Charnett was always around jazz royalty. In fact, his name is a tribute to both men. He first appeared on a recording at age seven with the Moffett Family Band. At age sixteen he left Juilliard to join the Wynton Marsalis Quintet, before starting his nonstop career working innumerable icons of music including Art Blakey, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Tony Williams, Dizzy Gillepsie, Herbie Hancock, Dianne Reeves, Arturo Sandoval, Anita Baker, Stanley Jordan, HArry Connick Jr., David Sanborn, Branford Marsalis, and Bette Midler. Most recently he’s been touring with vocal sensation Melody Gardot. Charnett recorded three albums for the esteemed Blue Note label and six others on various labels before his path led him to Motéma Music. Whether as the leader or in a supportive role, his intense and energetic solos inspire audience ovations around the world.
In a career that took flight in 1985 with immediate commercial and critical acclaim, guitar virtuoso Stanley Jordan has consistently displayed a chameleon-like musical persona of openness, imagination, versatility, respect, and maverick daring. Be it with bold reinventions of classical masterpieces or soulful explorations through pop-rock hits, to blazing straight-ahead jazz forays and ultramodern improvisational works—solo or with a group, Jordan can always be counted on to take listeners on breathless journeys into the unexpected. At the age of eleven, he took up the guitar; initially due to the influence of Jimi Hendrix. Within a couple of years, however, he had moved on to jazz. Throughout his teen years, he worked at adapting a two-handed piano-playing style to the fretboard of the guitar. His mastery of this “touch playing” had reached such a level of development by the time he was seventeen that it won him the soloist competition at the Reno International Jazz Festival. He attended Princeton University where he took time outside of his formal education to perform with both local bands and, on occasion, jazz luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie. Jordan’s reputation eventually led to an audition for head of the musician division of Elektra Records, but he put off signing a contract for over a year, choosing instead to refine his technique. When at last a deal was made, his contract had moved over to the newly resurrected Blue Note label. Jordan’s 1985 album Magic Touch would be the company’s first contemporary release of the period—and an enormous critical and commercial success, remaining at the top of the jazz charts for fifty-one weeks.
Internationally acclaimed drummer and composer Victor Lewis was born on May 20, 1950 in Omaha, Nebraska.
He has recorded albums under his own name as well, featuring his own compositions and unique style of drumming. The first, Family Portrait, on AudioQuest includes performances by John Stubblefield, Edward Simon, Cecil McBee, Don Alias, Jumma Santos and a six-voice chorus led by Pamela Watson. Even Victor gets an opportunity to participate on some of the vocal selections and on one track plays a little piano. The album features suite-like compositions dedicated to his whole family – “Family Portrait,” his parents on “A Mis Padres,” children “Bella y Cosima” and “Lil’ Sis.”
“Lewis is a master of shading and color, and the kind of timekeeper that could teach a clock new ways to tick” says jazz writer Bill Kohlhasse. As his ever increasing talent becomes more and more obvious to the general public, it is clear that Victor Lewis is an important artist on the horizon.