If you aren’t swept away by the alluring numbers like “Latin Love” and Cesaria Evora’s mesmerizing “Sodade,” stick around for their rendition of the jazz standard “‘Tis Autumn” and their spirited romp through Chick Corea’s “Spain,” which prominently features bass monster Moffett. This duo is something special. As Dan Bilawsky wrote in All About Jazz: “Herzen operates in singer-songwriter-meets-mellow jazz rhythm guitarist mode, but she doesn’t draw major stylistic lines in the sand. She keeps things consistently intimate, relying only on her voice and guitar, and the bass work of label mate Charnett Moffett, who brilliantly matches Herzen’s mood and artistic mannerisms throughout.”
Singer-songwriter, guitarist Jana Herzen (and label president for Motema Music) joins bass titan and Motema recording artist Charnett Moffett for a program of intimate duo improvisations for voice, bass and guitar that draw upon their extensive backgrounds in jazz, world, folk and rock. Inspired by the intimate duet masterpieces of Ella Fitzgerald and jazz guitar great Joe Pass, Herzen and Moffett’s duo project demonstrates a remarkable empathy in an such intimate setting. On tunes like “Latin Love,” the buoyant “Bali Holiday,” and the easy-swinging gait of the Tin Pan Alley chestnut “My Baby Just Cares For Me” (all from their 2012 Motema album, Passion Of A Lonely Heart), the two kindred spirits weave a delicate tonal web of atmospheric vocals, soothing nylon string guitar and conversational bass lines on both upright and electric.