Monday, April 3, 2017

Darryl Tookes-Rendezvous (1994)


My continued music explorations through the 90's has seen me getting reconnected with a lot of familiar names and voices on the soft rock/easy listening circuit, but this next adventure marks the beginning of me driving along a different avenue and formally meeting new acquaintances. It was a few years back—in the earliest days of "The Music Spectrum", no less—when the singer/songwriter Darryl Tookes first came to my attention. It's quite amazing that someone who has worked with a star-studded list of legendary artists in his lifetime—as revealed in his bio on his official website at—had never been a part of my musical journeys.....that is, until I finally picked up this very beautiful CD that I had been looking forward to sinking my ears into for too many days. From the moment Darryl's light and airy vocals delivered the words of ' sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down, sometimes it seems like a merry-go-round ' on the touching opening ballad, "If I Could Just Hold Her Again", I was dazzled, already having found a magical song on which to build new music memories and another charming male vocalist to adore. But the magic didn't end with just the one song; the spellbinding glow emanates everywhere throughout this "Rendezvous" adventure. "Breathless, Restless, Helpless": These three words comprise the title to one of the most joyous songs I've heard in recent days. Hearing him singing those same three words while relaying his earnest feelings against the warming music just fills me up with happiness, especially the lovely acapella at the very end where he sings about needing to pinch himself to make sure he's not in a dream. Well the jewel of a song right afterwards is like a dream: "Perfect One". These calming piano-based tunes with the full orchestra serving as the ambient backdrop are always a treat, especially when the final words of the chorus—'when I hold you in my arms, I know that you are my perfect one' is how it goes here—leave a lasting effect upon you. Uncanny coincidences seem to be my constant companion, and another one arises with a woman named 'Nikki' being the subject on Track #6. There have so many ladies in my circles in the offline world named 'Nikki' lately—a friend, a co-worker, a friend's daughter, even a nurse at a medical facility—so it's almost impeccably perfect timing that hear this song named "Nikki", too. I like the inclusion of the harmonica to accompany the uneven rhythm of this smooth jazz groove. Yes, there's that 'J-word' again when it comes to music, and I'd get to enjoy it twice more when the sweet saxophone jazzes up the comforting song of reconcile that is "I've Changed" and the merry trumpet sets the table for the exotic getaway that is "Paradise (Take Me To The Tropica)". Thinking further about exotic getaways and such, Track #3's "Let It Run Wild" is his invitation to letting the imagination open up the possibilities of love, turning this classic guy-meets-new-girl-in-town theme into a fun, romantic adventure. The final two offerings tell marvelous stories that reflect upon the past: "Yellow Roses On A Gown" and "Joyce, The Australian". The former really stood out to me because of the bittersweet imagery of his parents falling in love then falling out of love, the mother crying on the sash, the father living alone by song's end...... The latter, in contrast, is on the same mood wavelength as "Nikki", with his lasting words of 'fine as any woman could be' closing out this beautiful "Rendezvous" nicely while leaving open the doors for me, the listener, to 'rendezvous' with him and his music again sometime in the future: .

1. If I Could Just Hold Her Again
2. Must Be A Stage
3. Let It Run Wild
4. Breathless, Restless, Helpless
5. Perfect One
6. Nikki
7. I've Changed
8. Paradise (Take Me To The Tropica)
9. Yellow Roses On A Gown
10. Joyce, The Australian

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