As described by Rick Jamm … “Each of the songs that make up “Que Pasa” has a particular significance in his life. Starting with “State Street Stroll”, which was inspired from Tony’s time living in Santa Barbara, and all the fond memories of strolling down State Street, as well as playing at Soho during the monthly jam sessions hosted by Jeff Elliott.
The runaway rhythm of “Schuylkill Expressway” recounts Marino’s experiences driving from South Philadelphia to Norristown PA using the Expressway. In one week’s worth of travelling, a truck transporting chicken overturned, a man was shot, and a truck transporting gasoline exploded, explained Marino.
“Cliff Drive” shifts along on a smooth momentum and a sweetly resonant melody. This is where Tony visited and met with friends at the Rose Café. The song “Never Ends” was inspired by “Riders On The Storm” one of Marino’s favorite Doors recordings, so expect slightly more dynamic bombast.
The mellifluous “Waltz Upon A Time” was inspired by holiday celebrations Tony spent together with his family. On composing the track, it was Tony’s wife who came up with the title. The carefree and relaxed arrangement of “Camino Real” refers to yet another Santa Barbara memory.
The rhythmical swing of “Gato” goes back to the days when Tony Marino studied piano under Bill DelGovenatore and was loaned the album “Chapter One: Latin America” by Gato Barbieri – an artist whose performances Tony attended many times.
Years later Tony actually studied with the pianist who was part of Gato Barbieri’s band. When Jimmy Heath passed away in January 2020, Tony tried to inform Claudio Roditi of Jimmy’s passing, only to discover that Claudio himself had passed away. The song “Que Pasa” was inspired by a phrase that Claudio always used when greeting Tony over the phone, ‘Monsieur Marino, Que Pasa’.
Beauty, simplicity and sincerity transpires throughout “Bill and Donna”, a song dedicated to Bill DelGovernatore and his wife Donna. Tony Marino’s secret is that his music is beautiful – unerringly, dreamily beautiful. Marino’s music means solid and fluid at the same time. It’s steady but always swinging and tuneful.
The final track, “Solstice”, lifts the tempo and tone of the album, as Marino delivers a song dedicated to his favorite band Hermeto Pascoal e Grupo. Most of all, for the listener, there is the sheer pleasure of hearing and experiencing the wide, rich range of emotions that come from Tony Marino’s personal experiences.
Que Pasa follows two cds released in 2019. Tango Silhouette – which won a Global Music award and was described by one reviewer as “exquisite orchestrations“. Plus, Family and Friends – which was described as “superb, infectious and uplifting“. The song Gary, from Family and Friends, won a Global Music Award.