Michael Camacho

Just for You

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Michael Camacho is another vocalist in the pop/jazz style of Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr., John Pizzarelli, Peter Cincotti, and Michael Bublé. His limited range, pillow talk techniques, and softer inflections suggest all of the aforementioned singers, without Sinatra's panache, command, or charisma. A program of mostly standards has Camacho singing quite pleasantly, crooning with a copped maturity that is very typecast. The several ballads included here are not distinctive -- well done but not all that thrilling. What distinguishes Camacho are his originals and interpretations. There's some attempted and nicely achieved scat on his tune "Just for You," good ideas during the vocal/brushed drum intro of the upbeat "Blue Room," and a nice Latin slant on "I'm Old Fashioned." Three pieces of Camacho's are co-written with French bassist François Moutin: the sweet ballad "My Friend," the inquisitive "Hey You," and a great "Here's to the Blues." Camacho's 3/4 take on "Norwegian Wood" has the most original approach and genuine energy. Known for his work with Bublé, guitarist Randy Napoleon shows up here and there, while Moutin's bass is the most prominent pure jazz sound on the date, with saxophonist Dan Block playing a perfunctory role on occasion. Because of the paucity of male jazz songsters, it's likely Camacho will find an audience that wants to hear this type of light, sentimental, predictable music.

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