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Tony Marino: ‘World Music Blues’

‘World Music Blues’ is cool, groovy, and tastefully produced

J. Hubner

J. Hubner

Whatzup Features Writer

Published April 19, 2023

When you step into Fort Wayne resident Tony Marino’s World Music Blues, it’s like stepping into an alternate reality where the humans have all but died off and what is left are AI overlords, a technological toy we humans used to make goofy videos that became smarter and more sentient until it outstripped its makers and disintegrated us in the most viral TikTok video ever.

Now the world is run by computer overlords, and the only way to hear things like “Swing Blues” and “Samba Blues” and “Rhythm & Blues Blues” is for AI to create it. That’s what Tony Marino’s World Music Blues sounds like, all in-the-box compositions recreating the beauty of guys on stages sweating under hot lights and blowing their horns, plucking their strings, tickling their keys, and swinging their sticks. 

Tony Marino grew up in Philadelphia, heard Leon Russell as a kid, and decided he wanted to take piano lessons at the ripe old age of 7. He stuck to it and learned from the best jazz musicians. By the time he was a freshman in high school, he was a professional musician in a band called Idea ’71. His musical journey has taken him from Philly to Fort Wayne to California to Jersey then back to California and back to The Fort. In 1997, he released his first collection of original music, and with World Music Blues he’s on his 19th release. 

World Music Blues covers the gamut of jazz and blues styles, from swing to samba to waltz to Afro Cuban, in a meticulously arranged way. Marino creates these swinging little numbers that emulate the vibe of late night jams in smoky clubs. Songs like “Tango Blues” and “Eleven Four Blues” will get you where you’re going. “Rhythm & Blues Blues” has a Monk-meets-Gillespie vibe if that’s your sort of thing. “The Last Blues” is the last song of the night. It gives you a little swinging groove as you hit the pavement. If you listen hard enough you can hear ice tinkling in scotch glasses and the buzzing of the big city outside the club doors. It goes from Mickey Spillane to Thelonious Monk at the drop of a high hat. 

After nearly 40 years of playing and writing music, Marino knows his way around a composition. World Music Blues is just a taste of what he has to offer. He’s got an album for every mood, and World Music Blues is cool, groovy, and tastefully produced. 


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