Smooth jazz saxophonist Darren Rahn’s sophomore release Once In A Lifetime has instrumentals with a symphonic jazz breadth and creamy melodic phrasing entwining wavy keyboard knolls and gliding bass beats. His jazz-funk stylizing is similar to Kirk Whalum with mazes of saxophone spirals gently splayed across a bedding of solace drums. The musical expressions have a melodic flow that synthesizes harmonious spreads with sonic elegance making for an extremely pleasant ride and festive jazz trundles.
Produced, recorded and mixed by Darren Rahn, Once In A Lifetime features guest appearances by keyboardist Jeff Lorber, bassist Wayman Tisdale and saxophonist Dave Koz. As an acclaimed producer and composer with two nominations for the 2008 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards under his belt, Rahn has proven to be a meaningful solo artist with smooth jazz sculptures that his peers can admire.
Rahn starts the album off on an upbeat incline with a jingling syncopation on "Breakin’ Out" honing a night club impetus in his saxophone symphonies and joyful keyboard sprees. The album proceeds with the number "Groove Tonight," which torches handclapping beats and funky horn grooves along urbane movements that stream transitional chord changes with a seamless stride. "Greater Love" crystallizes a smooth jazz melodic slide while the upbeat funky rhythms of "On The Rebound" portals a sultry jazz allurement.
The dance-pop overtones of "Groove Du Jour" are a delightful fusion of lacey horns and jukebox keyboards enticing some dancefloor lifts and hops. Contrasting the activity of "Groove Du Jour" is the glossy melodic ballad "The Reason Why" skirting a soft and flowy momentum hemmed by gorgeous sax twines. The flashy sax curves of "Simple Song" have a club jazz propulsion with silky moves and toe tapping beats that ride into the chillout grooves of "Side Steppin."
Rahn’s remake of Berlin’s hit song "Take My Breath Away" is sonically elegant with graceful sax moves demonstrating long arabesque lines and heavenly pirouettes. Rahn has a gift for remaking pop songs with jazz overtones to bring out the intrinsic elegance of the chord movements. His original song "Uptown" is fluffed up with upbeat funk hooks planking energetic horn twirls and jumping grooves that draw the listener into its festivities. Rahn displays a vision for tying together comfortable harmonics like on "Vibin,’" which is swathe in softly stirred horns undulating at a comfortable pace. His composition "Sax a la Funk" is a delectable combination of gyrating horns and bass links coordinated by Rahn and Tisdale. The album finalizes with two soothing ballads "Heartbreak" and the title track "Once In A Lifetime" which each pouch slow wavy horns and keyboards into an ideal consolidation.
Darren Rahn’s second album Once In A Lifetime embraces the idealistic fuzzy warmth of smooth jazz and takes the listener into its satisfying troves. His latest release makes smooth jazz at its finest and shows an affinity for its intrinsic beauty. Rahn is the type of mhand clappingusician tdance floorhat otherchill outs dream of becoming. For the listener, it is a record that feels so good that you won’t want it to end.