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Bambo Kino and the bass line



Published: Thu, March 16, 2017 @ 12:00 a.m.

Bambo Kino makes musician’s music.

His songs don’t have vocals, which rules out the majority of people as listeners right off the bat.

But they do have a vintage jazz-fusion sound that is transporting. His music is often visual in the manner of a symphony, soulful and – occasionally – mind-expanding.

Earlier this year, Bambo (his real name is Mark Buccilli of Youngstown) released “King Tiger,” his third album in five years.

It features his mentor, John Sferra of Glass Harp, on drums, plus three killer sax players: Eric DeFade, David Kana and Bob Estrel.

Buccilli doesn’t expect to make any money from the sale of the album, and he does not have a band that plays gigs. His songs get played locally on WYSU-FM, but to gather a critical mass of listeners, he uses the internet.

Not surprisingly, Buccilli’s music is most popular abroad. His slew of videos have racked up hundreds of thousands of views in Europe, mainly Germany, England and Italy, where he gets radio airplay, and also in Brazil.

To attract listeners to his videos, Buccilli cast a wide net by putting his music on Facebook jazz groups.

After retiring from the Mahoning County Engineers office in 2010, Buccilli decided to give music another try. He had been in bands from high school to his mid-20s, and continued to play off and on after that, but his music had become a secondary endeavor for most of his adult life.

He tried something different for his second go-round, and it seems to be the right formula. “When I started up again, my sister said, ‘Why don’t you make it so your bass guitar is the featured instrument?’ I was skeptical at first, but I did it. I built all of my songs around my bass.”

The horn players pick up the theme laid down by Buccilli and Sferra and take it from there. “I let them go for it,” said Buccilli. “They knew what to do.”

The result is very catchy. It’s jazz, but not free-form. It’s built on a structure that is not too far afield from a standard pop song.

“There is commercial sensibility in my music,” said Buccilli. “I fill it with melodic textures, and that gives people something to hang on to.”

“King Tiger,” and all of Buccilli’s music, can be purchased on iTunes and other major online retailers.

To finally get the new album done, he had to overcome a couple of major setbacks. The project started as a quartet with Sferra, Jim Meese and a horn player. But Meese unexpectedly died midway through the recording.

Several months went by before Buccilli retrieved the tracks from Meese’s studio computer. He then put together the new lineup and finished recording in Sferra’s home studio.

A hacker then raided his computer, which led to a police investigation and caused a further delay. Now that the album is on the street, Buccilli said his next step likely will be to make videos of the songs being performed and post them on YouTube.

CASINO RAISES ITS AIM

Hollywood Gaming Casino in Austintown is wading into national acts for its entertainment room. The first will be comedian-actor Tim Meadows, who will do his stand-up comedy act twice on April 27. Tickets go on sale today.

Jacob Rosenberger, an official at the casino, said the Meadows shows are just the start. “We’re hoping to book some bigger names down the road, hopefully later this year,” he said.


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