Fide is a creation of Tim Camponeschi
(better known as Slim Man) and Carl Griffin. Slim Man had already
recorded several solo albums (End of the Rainbow (1998), Closer to
Paradise (1996), Secret Rendezvous (1997), Jazzified (1999) and All I
Want for Christmas (2000)). In 1998 Carl Griffin (Executive and
Producer of hundreds of records of Joe Sample, B.B. King, The
Rippingtons, Special EFX, Carl Anderson, Ramsey Lewis etc.) needed a
funky jazz group for his new label. So Slim Man gathered some of his buddies
to record the first album Royal Function (1999), followed by
The Poe House in 2001. Both albums were released on the N2K label
which went bankrupt shortly after the release of the second
Well, Slim Man
went into his studio again and started writing and compiling 12 songs.
He passed them along to keyboardist George Hazelrigg, who laid down
tracks on a Grand piano. "I just said, 'You know what to do. Just
go ahead and do it,'" comments Slim Man. The same procedure
followed with saxplayer Kevin Levi and later with drummer John E.
Coale. When the album was finished, Slim Man had a harder nut to
crack. He had to find a new label for his heart child. In September
2004 he met the president of A440 Music, a jazz label in Chicago. Kent
Anderson wanted to release his new album and the whole label crew came
to Slim's concert in the Millennium Park. A440 Music group artists
were Brian Bromberg, Nelson Rangell, Andy Snitzer, Turning Point,
Michael Manson, Everette Harp, Richard Smith, Bob Baldwin, Brian
Hughes and Gary Meek. Unfortunately A440 Music group
filed bankruptcy too.
In December 2004
Slim played with Bona Fide in Ram's Head. David Wilson made some photo
shots for the new album at that place. Six years after their auspicious arrival Bona
Fide got a new home at Heads Up International. Finally the
album "Soul Lounge" will be released on September 27th
2005. Good music finds its way.
The album opens
with Bona Fide Club. Every jazz
player dreams of an own club, some are able to realize their dreams
(Thinking of Alexander
Seldom Blues). Club means
improvisation and energy. That is the album all about. The tune is
uptempo and George
Hazelrigg shows that
he is a magician of piano.
The roots of the
band are in Baltimore. Premium jazz club of the city is the
Funk Box. Formerly known as the 8X10 the club is now
returned to this name. Artists like Joe Scofield or Marceo Parker were
onstage at this venue. The homage presents Kevin Levi's
laid back soprano sax.
Lounge is defined as contemporary jazz meets chill-out.
With the title song we enter the chill-out zone. Bona Fide transforms
the shuffle beat known by acid jazz into a lower more relaxed tempo,
certainly more accessible for smooth jazz radio structure.
into funky tones we arrived at Girards.
The melody is raised in steps like a canon.
piano magic is glittering in small solo phrases while Kevin Levi
is expanding his solo parts in huge steps. Nice keyboards spheres are
passing through the soundscape like a fog.
Train is a very special song because we have two great
guests: Marc Antoine on nylon string acoustic and Chuck Loeb on
electric guitar. Slim Man underlines their interpretation with a dark
bass. A perfect single dedicated for a burnout on all turntables.
The melody on The Journey
is played by vibes, piano and sax. Since the time of Roy Ayers the
vibration of vibes produces an acid jazz feeling.
Tower is a historic
structure in Baltimore modeled after the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence,
Italy. Build in 1911 the tower is still a highlight on every
city-tour. The tune is strong and propulsive like the tower itself.
The lengthy (13
minutes!) Deep Chill is diving in
a driving hypnotical bass groove reminding me at tunes of Amon Düll
Of May is featuring Marc Antoine again. This tune and
Midnight Train are very different from the rest of the album. Very
melodious and mellow. A style one awaits on albums of Peter White,
Marc Antoine or José Luis Encinas.
More Knights was written by Joe Ercole who also plays
keyboards on that track. Joe Ercole is a longtime friend of Slim Man
and worked together with him on his album Jazzified. Manhattan Nights,
Joe Ercole's debut album, was produced by Slim Man. Joe was also
member of Bona Fide on the albums Royal Function and The Poe House. A
brilliant tune of a great piano player with a deep bow to smooth jazz
The final tune Rosebank
Gang is named after the Baltimore street where Slim Man
grew up. This tune is hooky enough to realize that Tim Camponeschi
did a great job again. He is not only an excellent bass player and
singer but also a fantastic composer and producer. And if he wouldn't
be so comical during his live shows, we would better comprehend the
depth of his artistic genius. "My favorite thing is to play with
this band as much as possible," he says. "We're musicians
and best friends, and we travel well together. We have so much fun
together before, during and after the show. I'd probably never come
home if I had my way." So we take Tim Camponeshi as he is, the
one and only Slim Man.