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Michael Camacho : Just for You

Back in the mid-’80s, a vocal duo with the unfortunate moniker Sly Fox burned briefly bright with the funk-fueled million-seller “Let’s Go All the Way.” Since then, Michael Camacho has emerged from Sly Fox’s ashes, revitalized as a top-drawer jazz crooner. Camacho’s light, appealingly gritty tenor, laidback delivery and easy sense of swing suggest an intriguing amalgam of Matt Dennis and Bob Dorough. Softly romantic sentiments like those expressed in “I’m Old Fashioned,” “Skylark,” “I Should Care” and “This Is Always” are ideally suited to Camacho’s lilting brand of balladry. But Camacho can also turn up the heat, as evidenced by a roiling “Blue Room” and nicely executed, mid-tempo “Norwegian Wood.” As a songwriter, Camacho isn’t yet in Dennis or Dorough’s league, but three of the five originals included here-the playfully romantic title tune, a mellow slice of reminiscence called “My Friend” (cowritten with bassist François Moutin) and his boppin’ “How Can We Be Sure”-suggest that he’s well on his way.

Originally Published