A composer, pianist, and creative musical force, Tony Marino is an artist in the midst of a modern renaissance. After gaining a loyal following for his jazz-infusions, Marino has gone from strength to strength, releasing ten albums so far throughout his two decade career, all critically acclaimed and the reason why he’s become known as “the quintessential Latin jazz keyboardist”.
Growing up in South Philadelphia, a young Tony Marino first heard Leon Russell, deciding then and there that music would be his career. Stating piano lessons at the age of seven, Marino continued to study music and refine his abilities, eventually releasing his debut album, ‘Tony Marino & Havana Heat: The Latin Jazz Project’ in 1997. Over two decades later and Marino is still winning over crowds and audiences worldwide, pushing the boundaries of his sound and creating bold, new albums.
His latest release, ‘Tango Silhouette’ is a twelve track album that explores Marino’s love of music and his Argentinian heritage. Inspired by the great Astor Piazzolla, an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger, the new album is “an exploration into my family history dating back to my maternal grandmother’s birth in Buenos Aires, Argentina”.
A vivid and colourful release, ‘Tango Silhouette’ is a masterclass in traditional and contemporary tango sounds. Built upon a strong series of flourishes that sparkle throughout the album, the album is characterised by Marino’s passion and devotion to his music. Purely instrumental, ‘Tango Silhouette’ manages to live in two worlds, one where he celebrates his own history while also creating his own distinct narrative. It’s this clash of new and old that makes the album so exciting, with tracks like ‘Day Break’ bringing a lavish beginning to the album, while ‘Sylvana Gene and Stella Tango Medley’ brings more emotion and texture to the mix.
On ‘The Chancery Place Tango’ Marino creates a more intimate vision, stripping the sound down to the absolute essentials and letting the music speak for itself, while the fiery ‘Astor and Dizzy Tango Medley’ rises to become a true highlight of the album. With his compositions and songwriting on brilliant form, Marino opts for delicacy over power in ‘The Layback Tango’, before bringing the album to a close with ‘The Death of a Romance’, a stellar track that flows with melancholy brilliance, and the lavish, reflective cut, ‘That’s It’.
An unmistakably good album, ‘Tango Silhouette’ proves Marino’s love for what he does, with every single piece of music coloured with its own unique character and sound. Cohesive in spirit and sound, Marino has managed to use his music to create his very own narrative, one that takes a look at his own family history in a way that feels so vibrant, real, and relatable.
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