Doug Cameron,
(Higher Octave, 1996)

Rendezvous is a CD that defies classification. It combines jazz, rock, flamenco, funk and Latin American rhythms into big band compositions that are led by violins. Doug Cameron, a master of the bow, can make a violin talk and sing.

"La Celebracion" definitely sounds like a festival. As you listen, you can picture people dancing, laughing and having the time of their lives. The trumpets rock and Charlie Loper won my heart with his trombone. This had to be my favorite simply because it had a trombone that did not bobble any notes or make any other detectable errors. I could feel the power of this brass section at the end. They certainly did an outstanding job with this piece and have placed themselves into the upper echelons of brass players in my book, but not quite on the level with Danny Davis & the Nashville Brass.

I enjoyed "Sneaky" because of the trumpet solo by Jerry Hey. He is not Doc Severinsen, but he is close enough to lift your heart and soul with his brass notes. The overall tone of this piece is serious and somber. You picture trenchcoats and clandestine meetings in smoke-filled bars. I also really enjoyed "Rendezvous," featuring Boney James on the saxophone; it is a great piece for a romantic evening and dancing. The beauty of this piece is immeasurable. "Spellbound" runs a close second to this one for beauty. The upright bass made this tune.

The compositions and the order of arrangement is interesting. When you listen to the CD, you can follow a story from the beginning to the end. The action speeds up and slows down; the tension mounts and relaxes. It is an interesting arrangement for the ebb and flow effect.

The musicians and instruments that join Cameron on this CD are far too numerous to list. They fill a page and a half on the inside cover. He gathered the very best musicians in LA to assist with this collection of tunes, and his efforts in seeking out the best from each field are well-rewarded with these tunes. Each stands on its own as a remarkable piece.

Rendezvous combines so many styles that virtually every listener will find something to like on this CD. It is jazz with an added "oomph."

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 31 January 2004

Buy it from