Doug Cameron

Mil Amores

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Don't let the pink pastel cover and the Narada label fool you -- Cameron's label debut, and third album overall, is easily the hippest, jazziest release the new age label had released up until that time. That this album was promoted alongside acoustic elevator music was a shame, because it's one of the year's best smooth jazz albums -- a spry salsa and spice delight. It's hard to resist the south of the border flavors -- from the funky and brassy "Magia Espanola" and swinging "Cuban Spice," to Lee Ritenour's flamenco guitar on the sweet duet "The Gypsy's Tear." Cameron's superb playing is topped only by his marvelous way with a melody, especially on the sweetness of tunes like the lilting title cut and "The Journey," which features a lovely key solo by Larry Cohn. Among other L.A. hotshots surrounding Cameron's strings are Vinnie Colaiuta, Chris Boardman (who co-wrote the tropical "St. Tropez"), Gary Herbig, and Mike Miller, whose licks keep "The Time Is Now" hopping. Cameron also gives us a peek at his classical training on "Forever Friends," which features a small orchestral setting. This is one of the highlights of Cameron's career, which later took him around the world on cruise ships and into a solid stint on Higher Octave Music.

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