Tantalise was Michael's debut CD. Recorded in 1991, it represents Michael's first tentative steps to find his own sound and style.
Previously, Michael had been a long-time member of the acclaimed eclectic Sydney band Hat Trick (CD available on CD Baby), & had been working regularly as a session player, but when Hat Trick folded in 1990, Michael took the opportunity to launch a career as a solo guitar player, performing concerts in and around Sydney.
Tantalise features the guitar mostly in a band setting, performing both covers and originals, but there are hints at Michael's future path with the acoustic ballad "Through a Child's Eyes" (a fine early original composition), & an early version of his still-current show-stopper "Tocatta" (JS Bach).
The friendship with Hat Trick members is evident; two of the compositions "First Light" & "Here we Go!" were composed by Justin McCoy, plus Mary O'Mahony & Bernadette McCoy - the Hat Trick violinists - feature on a beautifully arranged (by Justin McCoy) classical interlude in the middle of a powerful version of "River Deep, Mountain High", and again on the original track "Lucky".
The CD even attracted some radio airplay - fairly rare for instrumental music to receive any airplay on commercial radio at that time. Of course, airplay generated sales, and it turned out to be a popular album for fans of guitar music.
A couple of years later, Michael focused his style, finding a distinctive voice with the acoustic guitar. Nevertheless, Tantalise stands as milestone, signalling the start of an auspicious solo career.