Torch singer Tim Camponeschi (aka Slim Man) serves jazz vocals in highballs of cocktail/lounge music liken to Michael Bubble and Tony Bennett on his eighth studio album Solstice. Produced by Slim Man, the cool jazz aphrodisiac he concocts have treatments of Spanish flavoring in the acoustic guitar segments provided by Marc Antoine and a warm brew of soul-jazz in his piano cadences as he commences with the whispering serenade "Secret Of Your Heart." The breezy reeds of jangly percussions spice up the gentle tempo as Slim Man’s vocals filament a cool dose of come hither yearning. His sweet beckoning remains throughout the album touching woman’s hearts and giving men the words to speak the language of romance, and Solstice is all about romance.
Slim Man’s voice draws the listener in without acting pretentious or over the top emotionally, similarly to the style of the late Dean Martin. His words of love have a genuineness like in the song "Amore" when he sings, "Something magic happens when we touch/ It’s heaven/ I can’t get enough of your precious love." Then he expresses those emotions in Italian: "Ogni volta che piove/ ho bisogno il sole/ del tuo sorriso/ nel mio cuore/ Carina." His vocal tones are cool and earnest without sounding heavy on the beseeching or limp in his persuasion. His vocals are turned to the right degree of smoothness for the melodies to feel genuine and romantic.
The jazz tones complement the ardor of his vocal registers circled by seductive guitar passages, rippling piano clauses, rivulets of saxophone and trumpet curls, and breathy quivers inlaying the bass and drum loops. The emotive palpitations surging through Slim Man’s rendition of Tim Hardin’s song "If I Were A Carpenter," made popular by Bobby Darin in 1966, gives the number an intimate feel and suctions the listener into its romantic snare, as does the soft bolero tempo of "Every Time It Rains." These songs surround the listener with the ecstatic euphoria and dreamy fervor that comes with being in love. The romantic jazz escapes in "Listen To The Wind" are gilded with swooning trumpet furls, and the faint piano embers on "Just Another Day" have a docent glow.
Slim Man’s remake of Nik Kershaw’s tune "Wouldn’t It Be Good" gives the synth-pop suite an injection of cool jazz content making the rhythmic movements malleable to the vocals touch. The sinewy sax riff and pulsating bass lines on "Never Surrender" are sumptuous and the Latin zest on "Face The Truth" is wanton. Slim Man concludes the album with a simmering jazz piano ballad "Every Now And Then," keeping the torch of romance firmly bright with a quiet passion. I think that may describe Slim Man’s music best, sedate and yet very passionate.
Slim Man started in the music business as a songwriter for Motown publishing and then joined the pop/rock band Boot Camp who toured with the B52’s, Squeeze, and The Tubes in the ‘80s. The group ran its course and Slim Man found himself writing for Epic’s recording artist Brian Jack. When several of his songs did not make Jack’s album, Slim Man ventured into a solo career, recording his own material for what would become his debut album End Of The Rainbow in 1995. Since then, he has released an album almost every year - Closer To Paradise (1996), Secret Rendezvous (1997), Jazzified (1999), All I Want For Christmas (2000), For Now And Forever (2003), Bella Mia (2004), and now Solstice. He may have first tasted success in a pop/rock outfit during MTV’s heyday, but he has made his foundation in jazz music.