Guillermo Marigliano Drops New EP

In “LA Samba (Los Angeles Samba)” from his new EP Inner Path, Guillermo Marigliano isn’t asking the audience to hear him as it would be, but instead putting his concept front and center where we have no choice but to bask in the glow of its melodic presence. This urgent desire to take his place at the center of the chaos is consistent throughout the three-song tracklist of the record, but it isn’t sourced from arrogance when it comes to creating poetic symmetry between the beat and the instrumental harmonies. Marigliano is an old-fashioned jazz instrumentalist here, and it’s rather ironic that his electrified sound in this song is also one of the most pastoral excerpts from the EP.

The fretwork is a force to be reckoned with all on its own in Inner Path, and I would point you to the aforementioned track as a perfect example of what I’m talking about. As much as Marigliano can play his heart out in all three of these performances, the wail of the guitar in a track like this one gives him a run for his money beneath the spotlight. Luckily, this artist doesn’t have a difficult time straddling large and in-charge instrumentation, as he proves so deftly in this piece.

While slower than the pacing of other songs on the record, the beat in “Bonita” is stirring and pulls us closer to the melodic trappings of the music as nothing else likely could have, which is ideal in a ballad of its style. Whether he’s moving fast or slow, there isn’t a moment of Inner Path where it feels like Guillermo Marigliano isn’t the one directing every movement of the band and the arrangement itself, which is quite honestly more than I can say for some of his closest contemporaries in the underground at the moment.

None of the hooks featured in this extended play sound over the top or even that theatrical relative to the standard in jazz these days, with “Tango Blues” producing what feels like the most startlingly warm climax of any track on the EP. Marigliano doesn’t have to rely on the same compositional foundations that some of the other players in and outside of the South American scene have grown dependent on in the last decade or so, and his rejection of minimalism yet embracing of conservative songwriting cues is curious to me as a critic, to say the least.

Short releases are never easy to put together no matter the kind of skill you’re working with coming into a project, but you probably wouldn’t be able to guess this just from listening to what Guillermo Marigliano can do in Inner Path.

He’s a natural at this medium and specifically this genre, with his ethic and stylization echoing some of the greatest players to ever make recorded jazz music, and if this is just the first cornerstone of a career, we haven’t seen but the least of what this artist is going to produce in the years still to come.

Chadwick Easton


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