Born on June 10, 1967, Charńett Moffett grew up in a musically active household. His father, the renowned jazz drummer Charles Moffett Sr., was a member of Ornette Coleman’s trio of the mid 1960s as well as leader of the Moffett Family Band. (Charńett’s name is a contraction of both Charles and Ornette). As a child prodigy, Charńett first appeared on record at the age of seven in 1974 with the Moffett Family Band and the following year toured Japan with the group. After attending Fiorello H. La Guardia H. S. for the Music and Arts in New York City, he studied at Mannes College of Music and obtained a scholarship to study at the Juilliard School of Music. Moffett joined Wynton Marsalis’ quintet in 1983 at the age of 16 and later appeared on the influential, Grammy Award-winning 1985 recording Black Codes From the Underground. During the ‘80s he also worked with guitarist Stanley Jordan, the Manhattan Jazz Quintet and drummer Tony Williams.

In 1987, Moffett signed with Blue Note Records and debuted as a leader that year with Netman, which featured Michael Brecker, Kenny Kirkland, Al Foster, Stanley Jordan and Mino Cinelu. The following year, he recorded Beauty Within featuring his father Charles on drums, older brothers Mondre on trumpet, Charles Jr. on tenor sax, Codaryl on drums and sister Charisse on vocals. Special guests include Kenny Garrett, Bernard Wright and Kenny Drew Jr. and in 1991 with Nettwork, his swan song for the label.  In 1993, Charńett recorded Rhythm & Blood for Sweet Basil’s Apollon Records. A savvy mix of jazz and pop, it placed high on the music charts in Japan that year.  Moffett would subsequently score artistic triumphs on the Evidence label with 1994’s Planet Home and 1997’s Still Life featuring keyboardist Rachel Z and drummer Cindy Blackman.   Another Charńett recording from 1995, Moffett & Sons, is a collaboration with father Charles that also includes appearances from pianist James Williams, saxophonists David Sanchez, Joshua Redman and Bill Pierce, and trumpeters Wallace Roney and Philip Harper.

In 1996, Moffett appeared on two simultaneous releases by Ornette Coleman’s Sound Museum - Hidden Man and Three Women. Another 1997 recording, Acoustic Trio for Teichiku Records, showcased Charńett’s innovative acoustic bass playing.  Three other ‘90s recordings for the Sweet Basil/Evidence label were done under the collective name of General Music Project and featured former Miles Davis alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett, pianists Geri Allen and Cyrus Chestnut and father Charles Sr., who passed away before the group could tour together.  In 2001, Charńett released a potent recording with Kenny Garrett, pianist Carlos Mckinney and drummer Louis Hayes, Mr. J.P (a tribute to Jaco Pastorius), for the now-defunct Sweet Basil label.

In 2004, Charńett achieved another artistic triumph as a leader with For the Love of Peace on Piadrum Records, featuring brothers Codaryl Cody Moffett on drums, Mondre Moffett on trumpet and Scott Brown on piano.  A compelling statement as well as a manifesto for the bass and the harmolodic principles he has upheld throughout his career, Charńett lavishes listeners with 14 pieces of challenging, stimulating original music.

In addition to leading his own band, Charńett is also currently a member of McCoy Tyner’s group, appearing on the great pianist’s 2003 Telarc recording, Land of the Giants. He has performed and recorded with artists such as Art Blakey, David Benoit, Anita Baker, Harry Connick Jr., Ornette Coleman, Kevin Eubanks, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Stanley Jordan, Kenny Kirkland, Joachim Kuhn, Frank Lowe, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Bette Midler, Mulgrew Miller, Courtney Pine, Dianne Reeves, Wallace Roney, Pharoah Sanders, Arturo Sandoval, Sonny Sharrock, David Sanborn, McCoy Tyner, Sadao Watanabe, and Tony Williams. He has also performed on various movie soundtracks, including The Last Boy Scout, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Visit and was a featured soloist for The Score.




“…while each track might conjure memories of their honorees, Moffett is no mere imitator. His rock-solid tone, which evokes the authority of Mingus, sounds especially impressive. On piccolo bass he possesses the clarity of a guitarist, and his speed on the fretless bass is mind-boggling.”

- JazzTimes Magazine  


“Recommended, the bass tastes found on this release appeal to a broad audience: young, old, far and wide.”

- JazzImprov Magazine  (Internet)


“…overall he emphasizes trio cohesion and interaction rather than sheer technical facility. That's also a hallmark of Moffett's own approach, whether playing standard acoustic, fretless, piccolo or electric bass. He has a disciplined, economic style, but displays when necessary the amazing speed, thick tone and overall virtuoso talent that stamps him as a monster player. “

- Nashville City Paper


“Listeners looking for more jazz than there was on Moffett’s previous set can certainly find it on this approachable but serious CD. “

- PopMatters  (Internet)  


Internet is an impressive album with new discoveries even after repeated listening.”

-All About Jazz NY  


“Moffett is one of those touted young lions who has grown into his promise since his early days with Wynton. He is a monster bassist who can play both upright and electric with equal ease, jumping between hard bop and funk with nary a blink. He is also a fine composer, with the ability to groove and solo like a madman.”

- Jazz Society of Oregon


“Bassist Charnett Moffett's Internet is so chock full of diverse and eclectic playing that it should include a textbook companion. Almost every style of bass playing on practically every type of bass is displayed on this engrossing release. “

- All About Jazz CA  


“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.”

- JazzTimes Magazine


“In a time when “Marsalis” echoes in notoriety, For the Love of Peace stands as a musical superb Moffett family manna.”  “Charnett Moffett’s personal and musical ethos makes For the Love of Peace an enterprise of absolute relevance.  The Moffett family makes its case for social citizenry as surely as its best bassist makes his case for music.”

- Jazz Improv Magazine


“His performance, appeals to the average Jazz outsider as well as to the Jazz fan.  Essential musical elements remain at the heart of Moffett's music.  Thus, he's able to convey music as a "universal language" to all, while providing deeply profound Jazz statements.”  

- Cadence Magazine 


“The former teenage prodigy demonstrates his still-fierce playing, on both acoustic (arco and pizzicato) and fretless bass, and he offers an ambitious program - original compositions garnished with background vocals and spoken word…”

-  Downbeat Magazine


“In that closing testament, he both reflects and summarizes on the spiritual matters of the preceding 45 minutes and asserts his place at the forefront of American bassists. But more than his enviable skills as an instrumentalist and composer, Moffett has a profound message to communicate.”

-  One Final Note

"Moffett...takes his listeners on a 21st Century inspired musical journey that can be compared to John Coltrane’s masterpiece, A LOVE SUPREME.
"...Charnett Moffett is definitely in the prime of his career and deserves a special place in your jazz collection. Awesome!"
- Sounds of Timeless Jazz

"'s a soulful and pleasing demonstration of Charnett Moffett's talents as a bassist/composer."

- All Music Guide

"While bass players infrequently release their own recordings, mainly because of their usual status of sidemen, occasionally a CD of special merit by a bass player is released. Such is the case with Moffett’s For The Love Of Peace, which comprises a statement of faith and belief and summarizes his vast range of experiences in a high-profile career."


" get a disc about "love, spiritual and human" (as producer Jessica Shih calls it) that manages to heed the call of Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" without sounding artificial or fatuous. A major surprise, in fact."

- The Buffalo News

Photo of Charnett © Marianne Smith