Ireland's “Rising Star” of jazz ~ The Irish Times.
Singer-guitarist Charlie Moon; Ireland’s “rising star” of jazz ~ The Irish Times, has been referred to as the Emerald Isle’s answer to ‘The Prince of Cool’ - Chet Baker, working mainly in the cool jazz, blues and soul jazz idioms.
Taking after his father Nigel Mooney on guitar, “Ireland’s King of the blues” ~ BBC, Charlie became notable for playing a melodic guitar style mixing rhythmically swinging bebop & blues, drawing influence from the likes of Wes Montgomery and Peter Bernstein as well as singing styles such as that of ‘The Divine One’ - Sarah Vaughan and the aforementioned Chet Baker, conveying a strong storytelling quality in his delivery.
Named after Charlie Parker, he was exposed to music at an early age by his parents, both of which are jazz musicians (his mother a singer also), learning to play ‘Thelonious’ by Monk at the age of two on the piano and internalising a vast repertoire of standards from hearing vocal records on in the home. Although, he would not fully realise his potential for another 10 years when he then took to the guitar with a particular affinity for Jimi Hendrix. As a child, his father brought him to see every major name in jazz that came through Ireland including Jimmy Smith, Ahmad Jamal, George Benson, Brad Mehldau, Wayne Shorter and arranged a guitar lesson for him with Larry Coryell when he was 13.
After completing a European tour in 2013 with his band Croupier, he returned to education to complete his Bachelors degree in jazz performance in Dublin, and later, a Masters of the same variety in The Netherlands, where he studied with the likes of Seamus Blake, Gregory Hutchinson, Lionel Loueke, Jeff Ballard, Joey Baron, Jesse Davis, Steve Coleman and Dave Liebman. During his years of tuition he frequented New York to go to jazz clubs and take lessons with jazz guitar giants such as Gilad Hekselman, Adam Rogers, Nir Felder and Yotam Silberstein.
In 2018 he was nominated for best original score at the Kerry Film Festival for his work on the film ‘Ask Me now’. Many of the compositions for this instrumental project would be reimagined for his debut album ‘Patchwork’ with his band The Charlie Moon Sextet; a cool jazz vocal album adding tenor and trumpet to his quartet, featuring original arrangements of compositions from the likes of Monk, Ellington and modern electronic artists such as Thom Yorke and James Blake, as well as some of his own. The sound and instrumentation of the album is inspired by classic Blue Note recordings, Lee Morgan’s Search For The New Land most notably, combined with influences of modern piano trios such as Brad Mehldau and The Bad Plus.
Throughout his career he has played frequently at the prestigious Cork, Limerick and Bray jazz festivals and has featured numerous times with the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra, The Hot House Big Band and The Downtown Big Band, both as a singer and a rhythm guitarist respectively.
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