SunsetSimply cool, unusual and soulful. The debut U.S. release by Camiel on Rendezvous’ label is exactly what we are looking for here at It is sophisticated with an edge and creates a mood that goes great with fine wine and good friends. Pair it with a 2003 Fess Parker Chardonnay from Santa Barbra County. At about $18.00 a bottle, you will create a sensual mood perfect for a unique meeting of people.

Camiel is an accomplished jazz guitarist, composer, arranger and performer who studied music at the Amsterdam Conservatory. On the cutting edge of Dutch/Pop music, he has been showcased on some of today’s best selling compilations, including “Ibiza Magic” (Cafe Del Mar), “The Jazz Lounge Series” and “Ultimate Chill Out.” His debut album “Sunset” could best be described as “Solaja” which stands for a modern mix of Soul, Latin, and Jazz with electronica. This concept album takes the listener on a journey through a mysterious night that starts with the first song “Sunset” and ends with “Waiting for the Sun.”

The album can be played from beginning to end without a pause. The beat on the first song entitled, “Sunset,” is fast and seems almost too fast at first, but then you are drawn in to the simplicity of the groove and guitar riffs. As the mood of the music progresses, the Euro sound and vocals on “You Can Stay” come in and take the album to another place, adding African-like percussion and synthesized parts. I love this album and applaud Rendezvous for signing such a unique artist in a contemporary jazz market that has otherwise become so formulaic. There is nothing predictable about this album, except that it is predictably great from one song to the next.

Track number six entitled “Maybe” goes back to a fast, almost house beat with soulful vocals and smooth rhodes. The amazing thing is while there are older R&B influences and sounds the music always feels very contemporary. As the album winds up, “I Would” gets even sexier and more intimate, but still creates a party type atmosphere. The humor in the vocals somehow fit in perfectly with the romantic rhodes. The words of this song may cause people to pause and listen but will not interrupt the mood. “Sintra” has fantastic bass and smooth African percussion and now I have to ask, what is the rhodes sound he is using? I love it! The chord changes are so nice and the unique arrangement set this song apart. I like the fact that Camiel introduces his guitar playing as a feature but only gives us a taste, leaving us to want more. My favorite song is “El Alba.” The haunting guitar melody and accompanying bass is classic and the chord changes will melt your senses.

The upbeat feel and light intricacies of this music are what have motivated me to pair it with a great light Chardonnay from Fess Parker. A visit to Fess Parker this year had me sold on several of the wines they offer, but I am especially fond of the 2003 Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County. This is a Chardonnay made in today’s lighter, stonier style similar to the white wines of Burgundy.

Camiel and a bottle of Fess Parker Chardonnay – life could not be better. Buy a bottle and keep it for two to three years; buy the whole album “Sunset” or download the song “El Alba” and it will sound as good five years from now as it does today.

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