Moon Under Water Launch at Bennett's Lane Jazz Club
Bennett's Lane Jazz Club was the iconic scene for the launch of the exciting new album Moon Under Water from Andrew Hagger and friends. After the success of the Hope album last year which topped the classical charts, there was much anticipation from the packed out event as several of the artists from Moon Under Water performed. This album features some of Australia's most accomplished musicians and is the perfect album to purchase for Christmas. Indeed as an instrumental album it's superb to play at a dinner party or occasion.
George Orwell's 1946 essay "Moon Under Water" imagined the perfect place to gather. A fictitious place. Too good to be true. With incredible atmosphere. Friends and families connecting. Flowing conversations. Great food and drinking. And even a surprise garden to welcome all. Sound enticing?
On a stage that has seen the likes of Prince, Justin Timberlake and Harry Connick Junior perform, we enjoyed stellar performances from Andrew Hagger (who kicked off solo on piano), Elodie Sablier the young glamorous French pianist from Provence, Andrew Naylor and family, Robyn Payne (one of the Australia's finest producers, as well as a fine musician in her own right), and Michael Tortino (fabulous double bass player, Melbourne Jazz Festival Director and owner of Bennett's Lane Jazz Club).
Other guests on Moon Under Water include Tommy Emmanuel (arguably the world's greatest guitarist), David Hirschfelder (writes scores for Hollywood movies such as Strictly Ballroom (1992), Shine (1996), Sliding Doors (1998), Elizabeth (1998), Hanging Up (2000), Australia (2008), and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010), ex Little River Band and John Farnham Band), and Chong Lim (Dancing with the Stars, producer for the 2000 Olympic Games as well as for many albums and projects, and has toured with many big name artists) and David Holmes.
Andrew Hagger opened the evening with the title track of Moon Under Water and set the soulful tone with first class musicianship... Andrew has climbed the heights in business and is a General Manager of NAB and CEO of MLC, previously working as Managing Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Melbourne.
The story goes that Andrew, while on holidays with his family on Hamilton Island, decided to "do something for my soul" in addition to the demands of his executive role. So he rang 8 friends and asked them if he could produce an album where they "all brought songs to the table". The result is Moon Under Water - with ABC Music also partnering in the project.
Elodie Sablier is a pianist who pours everything into her performances, leaving nothing behind. The rapturous applause indicated the quality and inspiration of her performance of "Vertigo" - her own composition. Elodie is technically brilliant having been schooled in the top French conservatoires, but its the passion, creativity and authenticity of her performance that endears her to audiences. She often crosses over into jazz and world music.
Robyn Payne thrilled the crowd with a couple of sets including a set with Andrew Naylor in which she played several unique wind instruments. Robyn brought a contenplative yet joyful tone. She and her husband have produced around 200 albums in their Melbourne studio including albums for Tommy Emmanuel.
Andrew Naylor is a superb artist who has several albums himself, performed on several sets, proving he is equally brilliant on piano as he is on guitar. On the Hope Album Andrew was also featured on vocals.
The audience were captivated by Andrew's soulful rendition of the song "Mercy" and the special moment when his family and a special friend joined him on stage. How can one family have so much talent?
Michael Tortini is a charasmatic performer (particularly in his own club). The ex stockbroker is a huge lover of jazz and has done much for jazz in Melbourne and beyond. Bennett's Lane Jazz Club is an institution in this town and we were discussing in our office how many of us have visited Bennett's Lane over the years.
Michael is also the Director of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, and he is able to attract top notch talent from Australia and overseas to be part of the Festival. The World Loves Melbourne attended several events at the last Festival and it was an absolute triumph. Michael's business brain is an asset to the Festival as well as his love of all things jazz.
Not to mention Michael Tortino is also a revelation on double bass! He thrilled the audience with impromptu riffs from rock songs, as well as performing the classic "Caravan" in response to an audience request.
Andrew Hagger then proposed a toast to Moon Under Water...
Moon Under Water is a standout album featuring some of Australia's finest musicians. Get on it!