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Reinterpreting Kermit, Men at Work, Roberta Flack, The Beatles and More: Quirky, Smart, Sophisticated Duo Album from Acclaimed Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Jana Herzen and Innovative, World-Renowned Bassist Charnett Moffett Gets 5/29 Release on Moté
(Published: April 08, 2020)

For Immediate Release
April 7, 2020

Reinterpreting Kermit, Men at Work, Roberta Flack, The Beatles and More: Quirky, Smart, Sophisticated Duo Album from Acclaimed Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Jana Herzen and Innovative, World-Renowned Bassist Charnett Moffett Gets 5/29 Release on Motéma

JazzTimes and Jazziz Premiere Tracks

Herzen and Moffett Capture Lightning in a Bottle on ‘Round The World', Finishing Each Other's Musical Sentences and Setting a Dreamy Vibe that Evokes a Warm Fireplace with a Glass of Wine and an Old Friend

On their upcoming jazz/folk acoustic duo album ‘Round the World', acclaimed singer/songwriter/guitarist Jana Herzen and innovative, world-renowned bassist Charnett Moffett capture lightning in a bottle with a dreamy, sophisticated, smart and quirky mix of songs.

On freshly imagined covers, from Men at Work to The Beatles to Kermit the Frog to Roberta Flack, plus originals by Herzen, the duo plays like creative partners who can finish each other's musical sentences. There's an intuitive, intimate vibe to these songs that evokes a fireplace and a glass of wine with an old friend.

JazzTimes and Jazziz exclusively premiered tracks from the album in March:



On March 30th, the duo performed on Kabir Sehgal's Quarantine Concert Series ( https://bit.ly/347htNL ) on Facebook to raise spirits and raise relief funds.

For Herzen, who has spent much of the past 16 years helming the Motéma label and promoting other world class talents such as Gregory Porter, Joey Alexander, Pedrito Martinez, Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Moffett, this period of fertile artistic output represents a watershed moment for her own considerable musical talents. According to Moffett, the partnership is also leading him to new realizations as a composer/performer/producer. Indeed, one can hear an exciting, deeper and more nuanced expression of his innate sound emerging.  

Enthusiastic press feedback for the first 'Round the World singles, and for Herzen's January release, Nothing But Love, along with rising social media engagement (a ten-fold spike of Herzen's FB following, and a waterfall of adoring fan comments) are generating buzz around Herzen as the duo gears up to release of ‘Round The World. People Magazine commented, "Herzen's rich past imbues her work with color and character." Those colors are influenced by experiences growing up on the Stanford Campus in the turbulent 1960's, working extensively onstage and backstage in music and theater, travelling the world, and becoming a Founder and key executive for two of New York's more influential arts companies: the MCC Theater (now in its fourth decade), and Motéma Music (now in its 16th year). Wisdom gained along the way shows up in her poetry and musicality as well as her confident and magnetic performance style.

As for Moffett, he brings his own forty plus years of arts experience to the table, along with an unusual abundance of spirit and charisma. Considered one of the most virtuosic bassists in jazz, Moffett has honed his A-Team chops through four decades as a musician/composer during which he's recorded fifteen innovative albums of his own, and over two hundred albums as a bassist to the stars including such revered jazz titles as Wynton Marsalis' Black Codes for the Underground, McCoy Tyner's Land of the Giants, Ornette Coleman's Sound Museum, Herbie Hancock's Future to Future, and Sonny Sharrock's Ask the Ages.

When Herzen first signed Moffett to Motéma in 2008 they began forging an uncommon artistic bond has grown organically through years of producing, touring and recording together.  Serving first as his Executive Producer, Herzen released two Moffett's projects on Motéma before they released their first duo project, Passion of a Lonely Heart in 2012.  Next Herzen stepped into the co-producing chair for Moffett's solo upright bass tour-de-force, (2013). She next produced Moffett's first-ever live recording, Music From Our Soul (2017), featuring Pharaoh Sanders, Stanley Jordan, Cyrus Chestnut, Jeff  ‘Tain' Watts, Victor Lewis, and Mike Clark, (2017) which became one of Moffett's most successful albums. In 2018, Moffett invited Herzen to fill the guitar chair for his live dates leading to her joining his quintet for his album Bright New Day. Herzen loved the sound that Moffett's band brought to her song ‘Precious Air' at those sessions, and decided to engage the same team for Nothing But Love.  Meanwhile, during the Nothing But Love mix sessions, Moffett initiated an impromptu instrumental duo side-project, Nett Duo, which released the digital album Overtones, in December 2018, prefacing Moffett's Bright New Day (June 2019), and Herzen's Nothing But Love (January 2020). 

‘Round the World, coming in May 2020, represents both a new direction and a full circle return for the duo. The tracks for these eleven songs were laid down in early experimental sessions that that led to their duo debut in 2012. Of twenty-two tracks recorded back then, half were jazz focused, and showed up on Herzen's Passion of a Lonely Heart.  The remnants, which had more of a singer/songwriter vibe, were saved for later release and now appear on this disc. The arrangements for the 1960, ‘70 & ‘80s hits that Herzen used to cover at folk clubs and coffeehouses in her teens, and for the five story-driven originals written along her path since then, reveal the deep musical camaraderie and artistic telepathy that seeded this unlikely duo's many fruitful collaborations. This poetic music for mind, body and soul marries innovation with nostalgia and shape shifts from folk to jazz to reggae to Afro-beat and beyond. What can be felt throughout the disc, and on all of their collaborations, is what the duo calls out as the three most important ingredients: love, honesty, and respect.

"The music doesn't lie," explains Moffett. "Jana's musical creativity is diverse. She is an artist with an original sound and style who always sings and plays from her heart. Her poetic lyrics and song writing embrace the listener with the compassion of truth. I've found that playing in a duo capacity allows the sound of the bass to have a voice of it's own.  Our duo recordings and performances have all been exciting for me. I never know which style Jana will travel into next as each song finds a new journey every time the music is created." - Charnett Moffett

"There's a language we're developing that been gaining nuance through the years. I'm looking forward to touring to accompany this release as much as we can, and to recording more projects in the times to come." - Jana Herzen

"Absolute Intimacy... Herzen and Moffett play it out perfectly." was the assessment of the duo's first project from Gary Walker of WBGO.

Live broadcasts, tour dates, bonus tracks and exclusive videos are all in the works ensuring their vibrant presence on the music scene throughout 2020 and beyond.  The next full album will be a spiritually uplifting Moffett trio and quartet album titled "New Love," slated for release later this year on which Moffett steps into new territories as a composer, lyricist and vocalist, and Herzen stretches out further as a guitarist. More on that soon.



Motéma Music is an award-winning independent label founded in by Jana Herzen in San Francisco in 2003 and now based in Harlem in New York City. The label has garnered 24 GRAMMY ® nominations with five wins in the genres of jazz, Latin jazz, reggae and R&B. Motéma has launched recording careers for international stars Gregory Porter, Joey Alexander, Pedrito Martinez and Deva Mahal and supported a wide array of innovative jazz artists including Randy Weston, Monty Alexander, Geri Allen, David Murray, Donny McCaslin, Marc Guiliana, Ben Wendel, Melissa Aldana.  The label has released the politically conscious projects: Playing for Change "Listen to the Music", Jaimeo Brown's Transcendence, Kentyah's "Evolutionary Minded (The Music of Brian Jackson & Gil Scott Heron) and the Terri Lyne Carrington & Social Science 2019 juggernaut, Waiting Game. Please visit Motéma.com to learn more.


Both Sides Now (1968- Joni Mitchell) -Herzen and Moffett give it a jazz/reggae feel that gives the stunning lyrics extra room to breath.

Blackbird - (1968 - Lennon/McCartney) from The Beatles (White Album) McCartney has stated that the lyrics of the song were inspired by hearing the call of a blackbird in Rishikesh, India as well as by the unfortunate state of race relations in the United States in the 1960s. Herzen and Moffett play it as a prayer.

Killing Me Softly (1973 - Charles Fox/Norman Gimbel) -- A jazzy take on the Roberta Flack pop hit which has been a favorite of Herzen's since she first heard it on the radio in 1973.

Sweetheart (1974, Ken Burgan) Recorded first by Dan Hicks and made famous by Maria Muldaur, one of Jana's earliest influences. Jana comments: "I saw her in San Francisco when I was 13 and was deeply impressed by her freedom, bluesy sound and sassiness. She gave me the idea that I might like to be a professional singer. "

Rainbow Connection  (1979, Paul Williams, Kenneth Ascher) From the film The Muppet Movie.  Jana comments: "This gem, first made famous by a frog, is really quite deep. I hope people will enjoy our reggae styled interpretation."

Land Down Under (1980, Colin Hay, Ron Strykert) A soulful and grooving reggae treatment of the 1980 international hit by Men at Work. Jana took time to learn this song while traveling in Australia in the 1990's during some studio sessions where she had a chance to record some of her first original song demos with the band members of Men at Work minus Colin Hay. 

On the Outside - A slow burn jazz duo version of one of the highlight tracks on Herzen's Nothing But Love. Here Moffett inspired the arrangement, with his famously relentless groove.

Far Away - Lyrics by Jana, music by Congolese ex-pat Shakara Mutela, producer of Herzen's debut album, Soups on Fire (2001), whom she met indirectly through Carlos Santana. It's a long story.

‘Round the World - A blues ballad that came to Jana in the middle of the night in New York City after returning from what she calls her "Musical Mystery Tour" through Japan, Bali and Outback Australia in 1990-91.

Bali Dream - Inspired by Jana's experiences of that mystical island.

Part of the Wild - written late at night under a grove of Redwoods in Oregon after an eventful weekend at the Oregon Country Fair in 1992.

More Information: http://janaherzen.net

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