Acclaimed as Ireland's "rising star" of jazz by The Irish Times, Charlie Moon stands out as a singular voice in the realms of cool jazz, blues, and soul jazz. Hailed by the BBC as “A very gifted young vocalist and guitarist” and often lauded as the Emerald Isle's answer to 'The Prince of Cool' Chet Baker, Moon has carved a niche for himself with a melodic guitar style that seamlessly blends rhythmically swinging bebop and blues.
Born into a musical legacy, Charlie inherits his father Nigel Mooney's guitar prowess, a figure celebrated as "Ireland's King of the blues" by the BBC. His unique approach to the guitar draws inspiration from luminaries like Grant Green and Peter Bernstein, while his vocal stylings reflect influences from jazz icons such as Frank Sinatra and the aforementioned Chet Baker.
Named after jazz legend Charlie Parker, Moon's early exposure to music was inevitable, raised by parents who were both jazz musicians—his mother, a singer. Charlie's full potential on the guitar surfaced at age 11, with a particular fondness for the iconic Jimi Hendrix.
Guided by his father, Moon witnessed performances by jazz greats like Jimmy Smith, Ahmad Jamal, George Benson, Brad Mehldau, and Wayne Shorter and at 13, had the privilege of a guitar lesson with the legendary Larry Coryell, setting the stage for his future in jazz.
After a European tour in 2013 with his band Croupier, Charlie Moon returned to academia, completing his Bachelor's degree in jazz performance in Dublin, followed by a Masters in the Netherlands. His journey included studying under the tutelage of jazz luminaries like Seamus Blake, Gregory Hutchinson, Lionel Loueke, and Jeff Ballard. Frequenting New York, he absorbed insights from giants like Gilad Hekselman, Adam Rogers, Nir Felder, and Yotam Silberstein.
In a significant milestone in 2021, Charlie Moon signed with New York-based jazz label Dot-Time Records, joining the ranks of luminaries such as Dave Liebman and Catherine Russel. This development underscores Moon's growing influence and recognition on the international jazz stage.
Back in 2018, Moon's talent extended to film, earning him a nomination for Best Original Score at the Kerry Film Festival for his work on 'Ask Me Now.' The compositions from this project found a new home in his debut album 'Patchwork,' created with The Charlie Moon Sextet. This cool jazz vocal album, inspired by classic Blue Note recordings and modern influences like Thom Yorke and James Blake, showcases original arrangements of Monk, Ellington, and Moon's own compositions. Released in 2022 with Dot-Time.
As the journey continues, Moon is poised to unveil his upcoming solo album, slated for release early in 2024. This moods and ballads album, featuring only Moon's voice and guitar, promises a deeply personal journey through his unique arrangements of favourite standards. A testament to Moon's musical soul, the album is set to captivate listeners, offering an intimate exploration of his distinctive interpretation of timeless classics.
Charlie Moon's career has seen him grace the stages of prestigious jazz festivals in Cork, Limerick, Bray and further afield at the Bratislava jazz festival. He has also been a recurring presence with ensembles like the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra, The Hot House Big Band, and The Downtown Big Band, both as a singer and a rhythm guitarist respectively. Moon's musical journey is a testament to his dedication to the jazz tradition, fused with a contemporary sensibility that places him at the forefront of Ireland's jazz scene, now reaching across borders with his association with a prominent New York-based jazz label.
From the vibrant musical tapestry of Dublin emerges Organ Freeman, a dynamic jazz organ trio that has etched its mark as the city's paramount destination for soulful jazz experiences. Over the past five years, Charlie Moon (guitar/vocals), Darragh Hennessy (organ), and Dominic Mullan (drums) have meticulously honed an unmatched sonic journey as the resident band at The Big Romance. Their weekly residency has evolved into a linchpin of the local jazz community, captivating audiences and attracting music enthusiasts far and wide.
Nestled within the intimate and electric ambiance of The Big Romance on Parnell Street, Organ Freeman's performances have elevated the venue into a sanctum of musical fervor. The trio's magnetic stage presence and virtuoso musicianship have transformed their gig into one of the most coveted in town, with patrons vying for tickets weeks in advance. A fusion of blues, bebop, funk, and jazz standards takes center stage, creating an atmosphere that resonates with the soul of the audience.
What sets Organ Freeman apart is their collaborative spirit. The band regularly welcomes guest musicians, transforming their trio into a quartet and infusing each night with unpredictability. Michael Buckley, a local jazz giant and internationally renowned tenor saxophonist, is a frequent collaborator, adding his virtuosity and unique voice to the ensemble. These special performances contribute to the allure of Organ Freeman's residency, turning each night into an unpredictable and unforgettable jazz journey.
While drawing inspiration from jazz organ legends like Jimmy Smith and Larry Goldings, Organ Freeman's sound is also shaped by the influence of guitar icons such as Grant Green and Peter Bernstein. This amalgamation of styles creates a dynamic repertoire that pays homage to tradition while pushing the boundaries of the organ trio setting, resulting in music that feels both timeless and fresh.
The success of Organ Freeman's residency extends beyond the scheduled gigging hours, delving into the realm of late-night jam sessions that have become legendary. The band's passion for the music and the community they've fostered ensure that the music doesn't cease too soon. The camaraderie between musicians and the shared love for jazz has given rise to a dedicated community of both performers and attendees who make The Big Romance their weekly musical pilgrimage.
With all their musical prowess, Organ Freeman remains exclusively a live act. The trio has yet to enter the studio which adds to the draw of experiencing them live—a decision that echoes the authenticity and spontaneity of the jazz they passionately bring to life.
For those eager to immerse themselves in the magic of Organ Freeman, there's only one way—to be present in the room when the trio takes the stage. The palpable energy, infectious grooves, and spontaneous collaborations make each performance a unique and unmissable event, marking Organ Freeman as an indispensable chapter in Dublin's rich jazz narrative.
Sunday's @TheBigRomance 6pm - late.