Pat Bianchi, Three Review

Boundless Harmonies: The Adventurous Spirit of Three by Pat Bianchi


Pat Bianchi, Three Review

Boundless Harmonies: The Adventurous Spirit of Three by Pat Bianchi

by Nolan DeBuke

Pat-Bianchi-cdThe organ trio holds a special place in the many sounds of jazz, symbolizing groove and the pioneering spirit that propels impassioned improvisation. Pat Bianchi’s latest album, Three, is a solid addition to this enduring format while boldly venturing into new territories. Bianchi, a Grammy-nominated organ virtuoso with a profound lineage in the organ trio setting, embraces a fresh approach by integrating saxophone and drums instead of the conventional guitar accompaniment. This choice honors the legacy of jazz but offers a sound that is dynamic and fresh with possibilities.

Three is the next evolution against the backdrop of Bianchi’s illustrious career, marked by collaborations with jazz giants and a deep-rooted passion for the Hammond B3 organ. His journey, influenced by organ legends like Don Patterson and Joey DeFrancesco, reflects a blend of reverence for the past and a relentless drive toward musical exploration and expression. The album, born out of a desire to capture the raw, electrifying essence of live performance, is a bold statement of Bianchi’s artistic vision, supported by the talents of saxophonist Troy Roberts and drummer Colin Stranahan. Their collective chemistry is tangible, a confluence of experiences and influences that elevate the album to extraordinary heights.

The selection of tracks on Three spans a broad spectrum, from the soulful grooves of “Cryin’ Blues” to the intricate harmonies of Wayne Shorter’s “Dance Cadaverous.” Each piece is reinterpreted through the trio’s innovative lens, offering listeners a new way to experience these compositions. The album’s opener, “Love For Sale,” sets the tone with its vibrant, up-tempo arrangement, showcasing the trio’s ability to swing effortlessly and push the boundaries of the organ trio format.

The inclusion of standards like “Stardust,” “When Sunny Gets Blue,” and “Cheek To Cheek” may initially suggest a nod to nostalgia, but under Bianchi’s direction, these classics are anything but conventional. Instead, they serve as a canvas for the trio’s adventurous explorations, highlighting the harmonic freedom and dynamic interplay that characterize the album. In these moments, Bianchi’s philosophy shines brightest – a belief in the transformative power of jazz and its capacity to bridge the past and future.

Three shows the boundless possibilities within jazz. By stepping away from the guitar-led format, Bianchi and his compatriots delve into fresh sonic realms, creating music deeply rooted in tradition and d progressive. The choice of Troy Roberts and Colin Stranahan as collaborators is inspired, their contributions imbuing the album with a sense of adventure and spontaneity that is genuinely captivating.

Roberts is especially enthralling on the date. His creativity and musical passion bring a fire to each song that can be felt. His ability to play many styles and connect to Stranahan’s time feels are excellent. The harmonic rapport between Bianchi and Roberts is both fluid and ceaselessly evolving, giving the impression of boundless musical exploration.

Beyond its musical innovations, Three reflects Bianchi’s personal journey and commitment to the organ trio as a vibrant, evolving form. It honors the pioneers who laid the foundation for this genre while asserting Bianchi’s place among the vanguard of musicians shaping its future.

Three by Pat Bianchi and his trio affirms the organ trio’s significance in the jazz canon. It is a work that respects its roots while offering listeners a rich, immersive experience that is intellectually satisfying and emotionally feels good with that all-important organ groove. As Bianchi continues to chart his course in the jazz world, his work on this album will undoubtedly be remembered as a pivotal moment in his ongoing discography.

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