Precious Child: Love Songs & Lullabies

Darryl Tookes And Joe Beck

MGP Records, 2014

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Yes, this is the jazz legend Joe Beck. Though he passed in 2008 due to lung cancer, Darryl Tookes finished the project they put on hold that was intended to display their all encompassing love for their children. Beck and Tookes, who were neighbors, wrote and recorded these songs in the mid '90s. Following Beck's passing, Tookes penned a few new songs to complete a full album.

Of the traditional songs, we're most familiar with “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “Rock A Bye Baby,” but here they barely resemble what we're used to. The former is a breezy, calm version with gentle backing vocals and the latter is soulful, hushed and sounds like it might fit in a theater show. The lesser-known traditionals includes the playful and key heavy “The Nursery Rhyme Song” and the closer “Bye Bye Lullaby/Braham's Lullaby” where Tookes pulls off a vocal performance of breathy elegance. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

When they say lullabies in the title, they mean it in the most literal sense. Songs like “Daddy's Girl” are essentially music love letters to their children, and even when they bring in backing vocals like “Precious Child” or the fuller, lush “Only A Matter Of Time,” the songs are consistently soothing. It is a gentle affair, and Beck's guitar work, naturally, is first rate as are the strings and keys often employed. In the case of “Little One,” there is even some soft trumpet.

While Beck's accolades are universally known, it's important to note that Tookes has a long list of accomplishments, too, including recording and performing with Michael Jackson, Ray Charles and Diana Ross, to name a few. A revered pianist and composer as well as a skilled baritone vocalist, Tookes has created original songs here sans Beck that complement the concept of the album with poetic beauty and sweeping grace.

Of course, this disc will have a much greater impact on those with children. However, considering the wispy, soft beauty, it would also serve as a great substitute for the standard holiday music, specifically around Christmas time. But perhaps most importantly, it's a lovely collection to further help preserve the memory of Joe Beck that lets us all know just how important his children were to him.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2014 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of MGP Records, and is used for informational purposes only.