Pat Bianchi
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Pat Bianchi


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"A Young B-3 Player With Solid Roots"

at Bianchi is not a household name for Hammond B-3 fans. Yet. With his 2006 Jazzed Media release, East Coast Roots, the 30 year old Bianchi will not remain just a Colorado known entity for long. For Bianchi has paid his dues, studying at the Eastman School of Music and graduating from Berklee in 1998. He settled in Denver playing as a keyboardist for national names passing thru town. Then he made the requisite New York City pilgrimage in 2002, and also had gigs in Europe both as a leader and sideman. He has re-settled in Denver and now teaches part time at the University of Colorado.

For this Jazzed Media release he works with Hammond band veterans, Mark Whitfield and Byron Landham. Whitfield played regularly with Jimmy Smith and Landham has been Joey DeFrancesco's drummer for nearly 20 years. East Coast Roots is made up of six session tracks and two live tracks, Theme for Ernie and Nobody Else But Me.

Bianchi's choice of studio tracks is top drawer as they feature compositions by jazz royalty- Bobby Hutcherson, John Coltrane, Jimmy Heath, Ernie Wilkins, and Bill Evans. The opening track, Silver Trane, likely dedicated to Coltrane, does not bring John to mind, but swings hard and features Landham's powerful drumming. Hutcherson's Little B's Poem calms down the mood and Pat's Hammond shows its gentle side, but picks up the pace by the middle choruses. Whitfield shows his mastery of jazz guitar here with fleet runs.

Coltrane's Straight Street is an exercise in the building up of pace before relaxing in intensity just as the track ends. Jimmy Heath's Gingerbread Boy is another feature for for Whitfield, whose deftness is rapid fire before Bianchi steps in for a fast keyboard run of his own. Theme for Ernie is done live at Denver's Dazzle club and has a gospel feel. Other winners include Ernie Wilkins' Dizzy Business, in which Bianchi and Whitfield battle it out.

Bill Evans' Turn Out the Stars is a lovely low key guitar/organ blend and the CD concludes with a live version of Nobody Else But Me, the longest number on the CD, and proof of Bianchi's full fledged Hammond abilities. You can add Pat Bianchi to the suddenly growing list of young Hammond B-3 phenoms.

Tracklist: Silver Trane, Little B's Poem, Straight Street, Gingerbread Boy, Theme for Ernie (live), Dizzy's Business, Turn Out the Stars, Nobody Else But Me (live) - Jeff Krow- Audiophile Audition

"Pat Bianchi- East Coast Roots"

Inspired by Joey DeFrancesco and, like every organist, by Jimmy Smith, Pat Bianchi plays very much in their two overlapping styles. This set teams him with guitarist Mark Whitfield (who spent a period playing with Smith) and with DeFrancesco's longtime drummer, Byron Landham. To try something a little different, Bianchi recorded eight songs that are not associated with organists and in most cases were probably never recorded previously by an organist. The modern jazz classics, which include songs by Bobby Hutcherson, John Coltrane ("Straight Street"), Jimmy Heath, and Bill Evans, all adapt themselves well to this souljazz setting, particularly "Gingerbread Boy" and Ernie Wilkins' exciting "Dizzy's Business." Fans of the Hammond B3 organ now have another hero in Pat Bianchi. East Coast Roots is an excellent example of his artistry. 4 stars - Scott Yanow- All Music Guide

"East Coast Roots"

Organist Pat Bianchi has recently released an interesting album titled "East
Coast Roots" (Jazzed Media – 1022). Most organ trio albums that I have
heard have a lot of intense and busy organ work, and often have a
funk/gospel feel to them. Bianchi plays much sparer lines, often allowing
guitarist Mark Whitfield to hold the spotlight with Bianchi lightly comping
behind. Drummer Byron Landham is also tuned into the understatement that
marks this recording. Of the eight tracks, two were recorded in a Denver
club, with the remaining six done in a studio. Except for “Nobody Else But
Me,” the selections are jazz tunes by the likes of Bobby Hutcherson, John
Coltrane, Jimmy Heath and Bill Evans. Bianchi achieves something here that
I am not used to hearing, subtlety on the organ. It is different, and it is
effective. - Jersey Jazz Society

"Reviews- Undertones"

Pat Bianchi's debut as a leader marks the Denver-based organist as a strong new voice in the current wave of Hammond B3 combos. Bianchi's trio rides the groove hard, focusing on lesser-known standards for most of the set. Guitarist Mark Whitfield's fleet-fingered fluidity and Byron Landham's authoritative drumming match Bianchi's explosive outbursts and conversational staccato passages, taking even the tightest turns with seemingly effortless zeal. The result is a catchy, eminently likeable souljazz romp. - Jazztimes Magazine


For this session, Pat chose to play with two of the finest young jazz organ combo voices of today. Guitarist Mark Whitfield does not turn down an opportunity to play at this level. His experience with Jimmy Smith has surely solidified his allegiance to the genre. Byron Landham’s experience with Joey DeFrancesco is closing-in on the twenty year mark. His familiarity with jazz organ vocabulary and the distinguishing characteristics of a jazz-organ-drummer could not be better qualifications.

The opening track, ‘Silver Trane’ reveals the hard swing that this trio is capable of. Mark’s guitar work is brilliant and Byron’s drumming is explicit at this tempo. Bobby Hutcherson’s ‘Little B’s Poem’ moves gracefully through space as Pat shows us a more pensive mood. Mark’s guitar-work spirals within this sonic masterpiece and Byron proves, as always, how important it is for an organ drummer to say just what is necessary to say. With ‘Straight Street’ we hear Pat’s nod to one of the creators of modern jazz, John Coltrane. The groove is hard as it builds in content and complexity. Ultimately, the energy resolves and the joyous train ride ends in a comfortable and familiar place. Jimmy Heath’s ‘Gingerbread Boy’ takes us back to the organ feel of Philly. There is a ‘march-feel’ from Byron and wonderful ambience created by Mark that allow Pat’s groove to dig in. The sound ‘swallows us’ just as the name sake himself was devoured. Another feature of this recording is the mixture of Pat’s live experiences with the studio-work he has accomplished. ‘Theme for Ernie’ affords us a taste of Pat’s churchy sound. This lovely melody is treated with all due respect as both Pat and Mark prove (once again) that the guitar and Hammond organ sound has been and will always be, a match made in heaven. Pat’s organ bass is clearly heard as an individual voice even through an amazing display of right-hand soloing technique.

All the pieces in this session are well-constructed and beautifully arranged as evidenced by ‘Dizzy’s Business’ and its tip to Cannonball Adderley. The head is punchy and Mark’s clever solo sets the pace for a hearty romp through organ/guitar madness. Their ideas mix as they escalate and then return to the head with speed and accuracy. Like stepping stones, Byron’s drum intro, coupled with Pat’s organ bass, guides us through ‘Turn Out the Stars’, creating a spatial awakening. Mark and Pat lock into one another for this comfortable groove that ultimately fades as a beautiful day might into sunset. Finally, our ears return to a live session in which ‘Nobody Else But Me’ takes us back to the audience-involved sound again. Pat’s soloing is seductive in nature with a rolling bass accompaniment. Byron’s brush-work is a classic display and Mark’s comping is the type that any guitar student could learn from. In this final track we sense the depth of this trio and imagine the many directions and possibilities available to them. Mark’s arsenal is comprehensive and Byron’s ideas are never-ending. With Pat we realize how far he has come in such a short period of time. His awareness of organ registrations and how they are so cleverly inter-related seems to have come easily to him. His knowledge of the organ and Leslie speaker as well as his skillful fingering and footwork suggest a level of proficiency that is far and above that of most other players who might be twice his age. A sweeter jazz organ sound would be hard to find anywhere. Yes, Pat Bianchi has arrived. I can definitely hear him now! - Pete Fallico- KCSM


· Tri-ocity; The Art of The Jazz Organ Trio
Released 2002; Synergy Music

· The Brad Leali Quartet Live in Europe
Release 2005; TCB Records

· 3osity
Released 2006; Capri Records

· East Coast Roots
Released 2006; Jazzed Media Records



Jazz Organist - Pat Bianchi

New York native Pat Bianchi has performed extensively since the age of twelve. His interest in music came very early, initially guided, educated and inspired by his musical family. Pat learned music and the basics of improvisation by ear using his first instrument, a Farfisa combo organ. Although Pat had yet to discover the Hammond B3 organ, the groundwork was being laid for what was to come in the future. Later, he studied classical piano and theory at the preparatory department of The Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY) and earned a Bachelor of Music in Performance degree at The Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA).
One of Pat’s early influences was Joey DeFrancesco and his Columbia Records’ release "Live at the Five Spot". Pat said: "After hearing that CD and wearing it out, I knew I wanted to play the organ and it became my goal to figure out how to play it like that.” After years of careful study, and actually having the pleasure of performing with Joey on two occasions, Pat is emerging with his own jazz organ voice.
Often jazz organists credit their main influences as only other organ players, typically the masters like Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff and Groove Holmes. Pat has also studied these masters. "They all have something very special about their playing, whether it be their groove, bass lines, improvisations or something else”, Pat says. But being a pianist as well, Pat has been exposed to a vast range of musicians and approaches to playing the piano. A current favorite is pianist Brad Mehldau. Pat says: "I like everything about his music; his technique, interpretations of standards, compositions and improvisations. Every aspect is incredible.” Listening to Mehldau as well as contemporaries Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, Kenny Kirkland and Branford Marsalis, all whom play instruments other than organ has opened Pat's mind and ears to the rhythmic and harmonic possibilities of new things that can be done on the organ. "I have discovered there other approaches that can work well on the organ that sound so hip, yet different than what most people associate with the Jazz Organ Genre". Pat is fond of many "chord-less" groups as well. "I love the challenge of playing without a chord instrument, such as a guitar".
While living in New York City, he performed with Lou Donaldson, Javon Jackson, Melvin Sparks, Peter Bernstein, Jesse Davis, Mark Whitfield and Terell Stafford. European tours with Alvin Queen, Brad Leali, Sean Jones, Winnard Harper, Greg Skaff, Ralph Peterson and Clarence Penn have helped Pat gain notoriety in the Jazz community. "Working with Alvin Queen and his group throughout Europe taught me so much", says Pat. September of 2004 found Pat to be a featured performer at the Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey, CA) with organists Larry Goldings and Sam Yahel.
After appearing as a sideman on many CD's, Pat now 31 years of age, has recently recorded his first CD as a leader, featuring guitarist Mark Whitfield and drummer Byron Landham. Pat extensively arranged nine of jazz’s less well known tunes for this trio. The recording is comprised of two live cuts from the Denver jazz club ”Dazzle”, as well as seven studio session tunes.
Currently Pat resides in Denver, Colorado where he performs on a regular basis. He also is the Jazz Piano instructor and teacher of other music courses at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Pat continues to maintain an active national and international touring schedule.