Dave Camp's splashy, picture perfect debut Torrid Rain
is one of those ultra smooth sax albums that you try your darndest to resist even as it sucks you in by your lapels and gets your brain humming from the first listen. Logic says it's too infectious, too melodically simple and not adventurous enough (despite some cool atmospheric percussion effects) to be any sort of jazz, even if it's contemporary. And yet, those mouthwatering melodies, combined with a spirited mix of wild tenor funk and skydiving soprano, makes this an affair to remember. The hook about these great hooks is that Camp didn't just pop onto the scene out of nowhere. He's seasoned his chops these past years backing up mellow monsters like vocalist Al Stewart and (here he is again) Peter White
, who co-writes and plays on a handful of the best tracks. As a writer, Camp is already top-notch. Playing wise, it may take him another disc or two to be fully identifiable from the first radio strains, but his equal affinity for both horns and flute will no doubt work in his favor. Right in the pocket, this is the kind of stuff genre critics gnash their teeth over as contempo fans rock steady into that passionate good night.