Using the term “veteran” to describe the versatile composer, arranger and trumpeter Kerry Moffitt is a bit of a double entendre. Now finally emerging as bandleader in his own right, showcasing his love of trad jazz swing, funky soul-jazz and lyrical ballads on What Goes Around Comes Around, the debut by his Midwest based group Turning Circles, he’s seriously done it all over the past four decades.
He’s penned arrangements and toured the world with orchestras and small jazz ensembles and served as a sideman on over 70 recordings. However, his truest musical heart lies in the multi-faceted work he’s done serving as a proud member of the U.S. Air Force Bands for nearly 25 years.
Fascinating though it is, one need not know all the exciting details of his tour of duty to appreciate the alternately fiery and sensitive journey he leads his small ensemble on, which rolls from an exotically percussive, boisterous twist on Hank Mobley’s “This I Dig Of You” (featuring a hypnotic, moody Rhodes solo by Arlene Pritchard McDaniel) and the hip and punchy dual trumpet driven strut (by Moffitt and saxophonist Seth Ebersole) through “Just a Few” to the charming reflective sweetness of Jimmy Van Heusen’s “But Beautiful.”
Suffice to say that his unique lifetime of varied musical experiences serves him well as Turning Point embraces the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” aesthetic to roll through a handful of jazz classics and four magnificent original on par with them – most notably, the rhythmic polar oppoisites of the haunting, classically tinged “Life, Love, Loss (Mvmt 2, Suite Lier)” and rhythmically all over the map, highly improvisational “10-4 Jam.”