Depth in any jazz song starts with a single beat, but when looking at the new record Inner Path by rising star instrumentalist Guillermo Marigliano, it’s difficult to pinpoint which of his grooves deserves this credit. Marigliano’s style is a lot more fluid than much of the competition’s; he doesn’t have to hang his heart on a singular theme to make a cohesive statement to his fans, and when ripping through the string-born elegance of Inner Path, he doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to telling us exactly what he’s got in his heart via his excellent guitar play.
This artist knows that attacking a hook can go one of two ways when you’ve got the tonality he does at the front of the stage, and I think he was very smart in choosing to cradle the melodies of “Bonita” and “LA Samba (Los Angeles Samba)” rather than going with something more aggressive. He doesn’t need to illuminate his compositional narrative in these tracks with a lot of oomph in the booth that would have taken us nowhere – instead, he’s going with a more conservative look in these songs and making them sound like quality singles as a result.
I get some major jam session vibes off of “LA Samba (Los Angeles Samba)” in Inner Path, and while I don’t know the complete origins of this song, it wouldn’t surprise me if it were created amid improvisation as opposed to formulaic composing sessions. In either case, it would be interesting to hear how Marigliano plays it in a live setting, mostly because he’s got a couple of different options in terms of how he could potentially structure his beats to sit atop these harmonies. He’s a thoughtful player, and that’s made quite obvious to listeners when exploring the depths of this EP.
“Tango Blues” and “Bonita” have a lot of emotion behind them, but they sound all the more made for the stage because of this. I wouldn’t say that Guillermo Marigliano is unable to get the humanizing tone of a live gig out of these studio sessions, but he’s undeniably offering us a glimpse into his abilities as they would stand in a more unrestricted environment. He’s hitting it out of the park for this particular kind of venue, and now, I want to make it a point of hearing what he can get done in something just a bit more open.
Although I can’t speak for everyone who follows the jazz music underground in 2023, I think there’s going to be a solid response to Inner Path this July. Guillermo Marigliano shows us that there isn’t much he can’t do when put in the right circumstances to shine like a diamond in this record, and while it’s only three songs deep, it flexes enough melodic muscle to confirm to me that this player is worth taking a look at again in the future. He’s at the beginning of something beautiful, and his handiwork is inspiring to say the least in these three tracks.