Hitman Darren Rahn seeks maximum impact with “Sonic Boom”

Darren Rahn.jpg

 

Hitman Darren Rahn seeks maximum impact with “Sonic Boom”

The saxophonist’s fifth album, due March 4, will have an exclusive world premiere on February 27; 

dynamic first single, “D-Luxe,” explodes onto radio playlists.

DENVER (24 February 2016): Whether it’s with a devastating jazz-funk workout, nasty R&B groove, bellowing gospel soul call or an emotionally-intense melody, saxman Darren Rahn is hitting and hitting hard on “Sonic Boom,” his fifth album and first for Woodward Avenue Records, which is releasing the recording March 4. Responsible for crafting 25 No. 1 singles, Rahn, who produced and wrote all nine originals on the ten tracker, is virtually guaranteed to add to that total with the combustible new set on which he trades blows with chart-toppers Rick Braun, Jonathan Fritzen and Julian Vaughn as well as Rico Wint (vocals) and Robin Eubanks (trombone). The multiple GRAMMY® nominee’s new offering is already off to a powerful start with radio programmers making the lush, horn-ignited “D-Luxe” the No. 1 most-added single on the Billboard BDS chart.           

Undaunted by his successes as a solo artist as well as a producer, songwriter and engineer behind some of the biggest instrumental hits by marquee artists over the past decade, Rahn changed his approach on “Sonic Boom” in an effort to elevate his sound, technique and unique artistic expression.  On previous releases, he orated through tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, but elected to play tenor exclusively on the forthcoming album to define a singular voice. The record plays and is paced like a live show with each song having a cold ending as opposed to a studio fade. Rahn’s production sounds live and warm, aided in part by his decision to use only real drums, another first. His melody-rich material comes straight from the heart sounding grand and luminous, packing a wallop with potent hooks that are passionately performed. The outing also serves as a showcase for Rahn’s proficiency as a multi-instrumentalist – the sax player also plays piano, keyboards, Hammond organ, vocals, EWI and synth programming on “Sonic Boom.” He makes it a family affair by inviting his brother, Jason Rahn, to play trumpet, flugelhorn and guitar and coaxes his wife, Priscilla, to play flute on the lone cover, a rapturous “Rock With You.” Guitarist Allen Hinds and bassist Mel Brown maintain constant presences on the disc while several drummers (Anthony Steele, Tarell Martin and Anthony Jones) pound out the beats. Vaughn fills in admirably for the late bassist Wayman Tisdale on “Losing You,” a moving musical tribute penned by Rahn for his frequent collaborator and departed friend.        

“The idea behind ‘Sonic Boom’ is about real music – inspired music – created with real musicians playing real instruments and presented in a way that plays much like a live set. I wanted to condense my personality down to the very core to concisely express the essence of who I am as an artist. Drawing from the assorted musical styles that form my musical personality and saxophone playing – jazz, funk, R&B, soul, pop, rock, gospel and fusion – I wanted ‘Sonic Boom’ to reflect the diversity of my musical influences and history while at the same time flowing and working as a cohesive collection. In an era when music is often created by taking shortcuts, it was my desire to use the finest analog and digital studio equipment and state-of-the-art techniques while gathering as many of the best studio session players as possible. I wanted to create something that would provide the listener with a truly amazing listening experience, sounding full, warm, punchy, luxurious and exciting. My hope is that people will genuinely be impacted by the music, that it will bring joy and encouragement,” said Rahn about “Sonic Boom,” which will premiere in its entirety on Saturday, February 27 at 10am PT/1pm ET on the SmoothJazz.com site.

The British Columbia native who calls Denver home issued his solo debut, “Soulful,” in 2004. That same year, Rahn produced Tisdale’s No. 1 signature smash “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.” He hit full stride as an artist and producer in 2009 when his “Talk of the Town” reigned supreme at No. 1 on the Billboard chart at about the same time he produced No. 1 hits for Dave Koz, Eric Darius and Tim Bowman. During one particular period of chart domination, he occupied the top three spots and later had four singles in the top 10 simultaneously. Rahn earned GRAMMY® nominations for his work on a pair of Koz albums (“Hello Tomorrow” and “Summer Horns”). His meticulously-constructed sonicscapes have made his deft touch highly sought after, affording him the opportunity to work with Bob James, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown, Jonathan Butler, Najee, Toby Keith, Jeffrey Osborne, Phil Perry, Nick Colionne and Lebron as well as Fritzen and Vaughn. For more information, please visit www.DarrenRahn.com or www.WoodwardAvenueRecords.com      

The songs contained on “Sonic Boom” are:

“D-Luxe”

“Sonic Boom”

“Funk Avenue”

“Losing You” (For Wayman)

“Together…Forever…”

“Altered Ego”

“101 One”

“Rock With You”

“Sunday Soul”

“Promises” (For Priscilla)

woodward ave

A TASTE OF “AND COFFEE” WITH MARCUS ANDERSON

For the love of music and coffee, Marcus Anderson created the perfect experience. “AND Coffee” is not only a delight for music lovers but also aptly titled with a play on the saxophonist’s last name. The life of a musician is without a doubt hectic, and there is definitely a need at times for a quick pick-me-up. With that realization, Marcus started drinking coffee, and an idea was born. He developed his own brand of coffee, consisting of four flavors: Passion Blend, Cup of Joe, Hazelnut, and Cappuccino Strut. The collating new album “AND Coffee” is the perfect accompaniment to his coffee. Accordingly, every song on the album is titled synonymously with coffee. As with the different types of coffee, the songs on “AND Coffee” vary in style. Marcus featured his colleagues Nicholas Cole, Lin Rountree, Matt Marshak, Julian Vaughn, and SHOWCASE.

Sit back with a cup of coffee, and listen as Marcus shares the story:

Marcus Anderson (2)

A TASTE OF “AND COFFEE” WITH MARCUS ANDERSON

For the love of music and coffee, Marcus Anderson created the perfect experience. “AND Coffee” is not only a delight for music lovers but also aptly titled with a play on the saxophonist’s last name. The life of a musician is without a doubt hectic, and there is definitely a need at times for a quick pick-me-up. With that realization, Marcus started drinking coffee, and an idea was born. He developed his own brand of coffee, consisting of four flavors: Passion Blend, Cup of Joe, Hazelnut, and Cappuccino Strut. The collating new album “AND Coffee” is the perfect accompaniment to his coffee. Accordingly, every song on the album is titled synonymously with coffee. As with the different types of coffee, the songs on “AND Coffee” vary in style. Marcus featured his colleagues Nicholas Cole, Lin Rountree, Matt Marshak, Julian Vaughn, and SHOWCASE.

Sit back with a cup of coffee, and listen as Marcus shares the story:

Marcus Anderson (2)

TALKING “NIGHT SESSIONS” WITH NICHOLAS COLE

“Unapologetic” and “innovative” both describe Nicholas Cole precisely. His youthful yet old soul approach to music is a welcomed breath of fresh air. His presence in contemporary smooth jazz is undeniable. Having a number one song from his last album, “Endless Possibilities,” didn’t steer him to play it safe, but quite the contrary. Nicholas went into the creative writing process of his latest album, “Night Sessions,” with specific goals. He knew who he wanted to collaborate with and feature. Among the list of enlisted talent: Anthony Saunders, Julian Vaughn, Kayta Matsuno, and Steve Cole. Nicholas was also very clear that he wanted to infuse elements of different genres into “Night Sessions.” In doing so, he created a fresh new sound without limitations; he has managed to captivate listeners seventeen years old and older. Nicholas has opened a door in jazz music that will lead to the future. As of September 8, 2015, his first single, “Mary Ann,” was number one on Billboard Smooth Jazz songs chart, and “Night Sessions” was number seventeen for top Smooth Jazz albums–not bad for the album that was released on August 21, 2015. In addition to his solo career, Nicholas is a member of “Generation Next” with his peers Lebron Dennis and Lin Rountree. The sky is the limit for Nicholas Cole.

As per our usual conversation, Nicholas and I keep it real. Listen:

Nicholas Cole

IT’S A “NEW ERA” ACCORDING TO LEBRON DENNIS

Although “New Era” is the sophomore project for saxophonist Lebron Dennis, when listening, you wouldn’t think so. Fusing playing ability and freedom of expression, Lebron proves why he has staying power. “New Era” is comprised of ten original tunes featuring Julian Vaughn, Lin Rountree, vocalist Keith Fluitt, and violinist Rachael Gehmlich. Bass player Julian Vaughn wrote and produced the romantic “Just Us” and was featured on “Spotlight.” Lin Rountree graced the smokin’ song “Give Love A Try” with his trumpet. Lebron–like many of his peers–feels that the genre is moving in a new direction. He says, “the genre needs something new and fresh.” Lebron senses the shift in demand for new artists that adds something new, subsequently gaining new contemporary jazz listeners. The future is bright for Lebron Dennis.

Lebron and I discuss music and the future:

Lebron Dennis

IT’S A “NEW ERA” ACCORDING TO LEBRON DENNIS

Although “New Era” is the sophomore project for saxophonist Lebron Dennis, when listening, you wouldn’t think so. Fusing playing ability and freedom of expression, Lebron proves why he has staying power. “New Era” is comprised of ten original tunes featuring Julian Vaughn, Lin Rountree, vocalist Keith Fluitt, and violinist Rachael Gehmlich. Bass player Julian Vaughn wrote and produced the romantic “Just Us” and was featured on “Spotlight.” Lin Rountree graced the smokin’ song “Give Love A Try” with his trumpet. Lebron–like many of his peers–feels that the genre is moving in a new direction. He says, “the genre needs something new and fresh.” Lebron senses the shift in demand for new artists that adds something new, subsequently gaining new contemporary jazz listeners. The future is bright for Lebron Dennis.

Lebron and I discuss music and the future:

Lebron Dennis

PHIL DENNY: ON THE “UPSWING”

Phil Denny is showing and proving exactly why he is on the “Upswing.” It is the perfect title for his latest album, set to be released on July 1, 2015. Just in time for summer, “Upswing” is a perfect backdrop. It was written and produced by Phil and Nate Harasim. The duo exemplifies what music, artists, and chemistry are all about. Featured on the album are Julian Vaughn, Oli Silk, and vocalist Confidence Killion. “Upswing” will take you on ride evoking an array of emotions and contains a bonus track, “Radio Flyer.” It is soulful, funky, and groovy. The album’s first single, “Soak It Up,” is gaining steam, and Phil’s fans are loving it. With its finger snapping, fun, and lively groove, it is the perfect way to welcome the summer. Phil’s passion and courage can be heard throughout “Upswing.” He is moving onward and upward. Stay tuned, there is much more of Phil Denny to come.

Phil and I discuss the evolution of “Upswing”:

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