By Michael Marsh
During a recent internet search, to find new artists in smooth jazz, I discovered that there is a gold mine of new talent out there, just waiting to be discovered, and ready to keep smooth jazz alive and well into the future. One new smooth jazz artist that I would like to feature is a young Colorado sax man by the name of Darren Rahn. Actually, Rahn has been a significant contributor to the smooth jazz scene for quite awhile, but his previous contributions have primarily been in a background role. He has served as a sideman for big name smooth jazz artists such as Brian Culbertson, Eric Darius, Wayman Tisdale, Gregg Karukas, and Tim Bowman. In addition to playing with these artists, he has contributed his production skills to many of their past CD projects. With Rahn’s 2007 release of his own CD, “Once In A Lifetime”, on the Nu Groove Records label, Rahn is making a clear statement that he’s now ready to step out from the background and be at the front of the stage. With my very first listen, I found “Once In A Lifetime” to be an absolutely delightful listen. It is entertaining from beginning to end, and I guarantee that you smooth jazz fans out there will be equally satisfied, if you should decide to add him to your musical collection. With the 14 songs presented in this new CD project, Rahn does it all. He rocks the house, he mellow grooves, he chills, and he romances his listeners. When you are in a mood to jam, you will definitely want to listen to “Breakin’ Out”, “Groove Tonight”, “On The Rebound”, “Uptown”, and “Sax a la Funk”. Rahn receives an assist from keyboardist Jeff Lorber on “Breakin’ Out”, and on the funkiest cut from the CD, “On The Rebound”, Rahn is joined by bassist Wayman Tisdale, who really throws down on this cut. When you are in a mood to lay back and chill with some nice grooves, you’ll definitely want to check out “Groove Du Joir”, “The Reason Why”, “Simple Song”, “Side Steppin’ “, and “Vibin’ “. Finally, for those intimate moments with your significant other, you can’t go wrong with “A Greater Love”, “Take My Breath Away”, “Heartbreak”, and the title cut, “Once In A Lifetime”. Rahn is once again joined by Jeff Lorber on “Heartbreak”, and by Dave Koz on “Once In A Lifetime”. Darren Rahn definitely serves up a full plate of music to please all of your musical tastebuds with this CD, regardless of your mood. With this first release, Rahn is making a clear statement that this CD will not be a once in a lifetime event for him, and this is just the beginning. A key compenent that determines the ability of many musical artists to maintain long careers in this industry, is the ability to write and create their own music, and Rahn definitely as that ability in spades. With the exception of his cover of Georgio Moroder’s “Take My Breath Away”, all of the remaining 13 tracks on the CD were either written or co-written by Darren Rahn. If you do decide to purchase a copy for your collection, you will probably have to order it on the internet at Amazon.com or Bestbuy.com, because you probably won’t be able to find it in your local record store. It is absolutely worth the effort however. I give this one a strong five stars out of a possible five stars.
Michael Marsh is the jazz reviewer for TNCP. To make contact, you may e-mail him at [email protected] for review.