By John Benson
Exactly four decades and a month after Mark “Bambo Kino” Buccilli first picked up the bass guitar, the local musician decided to add an item to his bucket list.
While some folks pick skydiving or playing the harmonica, this 1970 Campbell Memorial High School graduate had higher aspirations.
“I played for years and years, but I hadn’t played for a while,” said Buccilli, 60, a retired office administrator in the Mahoning County engineer’s Department. “I just decided I wanted to make a CD. The idea was I’ll be the bass player, and I’ll write some songs around the bass. I’ll take the melodic lead. So that’s what I did.”
Formerly a member of local acts such as Ross Locke & Rainbow, Skin Tight and Frankie & the Sensations, Buccilli went through his phone list contacting former bandmates and friends in the music scene. The end result is the instrumental “American Deluxe,” which includes John Sferra from Glass Harp, John Reese from the John Reese Project, Tim Harker, Jim Gerlach, Tommy Ruggieri, Dennis Augusta, Bob Bacha, Jimmy Meese and Craig Suhar.
“It’s not a traditional jazz but more like a fusion of R&B, soul and funk,” Buccilli said. “If you like music, and specifically instrumental music, I think people will go for it.”
Something that was pretty easy for Buccilli to go for was playing the bass guitar. He said he’s a natural.
“Even in my years of not playing in a band, I always practiced, so I’ve been play ing about 42 years,” Buccilli said. “I just love the bass. You’re the timekeeper, and you’re the bottom of the band. You’re the foundation, you and the drummer. I always liked playing funky. I learned how to play like that listening to Jimmy Smith. He’s a organ player, and he had a guy named Wilton Felder from the Jazz Crusaders. When I heard that I went, ‘That’s me.’ I really can’t explain what draws me to it. I just enjoy it. I just feel comfortable with it in my hand.”
As comfortable as Buccilli is playing his beloved bass, he doesn’t have plans any time soon for playing the “American Deluxe” material out live. Basically he said it’s too expensive to start a band these days.
Instead, he’s going to add a few to-do items to his bucket list.
“Just writing more songs,” Buccilli said. “I’m finishing one right now. I’m going to go back in studio in February and March. I have three songs to do. That’s my bucket list. I’m locked in now. This music is it.”
For more information, go to bambokino.com.