Brian Charette: Moontrane




Brian Charette (organ)


Missing Floor (Dim Mak)

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Brian Charette (organ),

Jochen Ruekert (drums)


Composed by Woody Shaw


Recorded: Brooklyn, NY, April 3, 2008


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

Sometimes a composition is so compelling you can never seem to hear a bad version of it. Thus far that has been true for me when it comes to Woody Shaw's "The Moontrane." I have heard this tune in all sorts of instrumental configurations. I have listened to both Woody Shaw and Dexter Gordon play it. I have even heard them play it together. But my two favorite interpretations are by B-3 organists. Larry Young's version on Unity is the benchmark. Granted, it didn't hurt to have the song's composer on trumpet, Joe Henderson on sax and Elvin Jones on drums! Still, the thrust of the melody came from Young. To my ears the organ gave "The Moontrane" more of a solid groove than the trumpet or saxophone did. Alongside Young's performance now stands Brian Charette's.

This "Moontrane" is short and stripped down. (Even its song title is truncated, with "The" falling through Charette's Missing Floor.) By simplifying the instrumentation to just himself on organ and Jochen Ruekert on drums, Charette gives the composition more room to breathe. This duo swings like hell. Your head will be involuntarily nodding in approval upon your first listen. Charette is not Larry Young. He makes his own way, as evidenced by the rest of this CD's wildly disparate cuts. Even so, he listened to Larry Young. And he knows that Young was a real killer on this number. Charette took a risk covering it, but his spare yet inventive approach paid off. You pay homage to your influences by sharing their taste but not their style.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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