ANDY BIANCO MUSIC- SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY/REVIEWS:
September 2015 Review of “Homefront” by Graham Reid (http://www.elsewhere.co.nz/jazz/7158/one-we-missed-andy-bianco-home-front-armored/):
One we missed? Did we what!
Here's my recollection: This album -- originally released in the US in late 2013 apparently -- came my way some weeks after an e-mail from US guitarist Bianco in January of this year and it went into a large pile of pre and post-Christmas releases.
Bianco subsequently got back to me by e-mail in August just wondering . . . Politely.
And time passed until the jazz pile, which is refilled weekly, sunk down and there was Home Front, still patiently awaiting attention.
So it's apologies all round and now we have the chance to bring this exciting, post-fusion outing (which has picked up excellent US reviews for its focus and energy) to attention.
Pittsburgh native Bianco's previous outing was the great drummer Bob Moses' duo but here he confidently strides into the centre of the frame with a terrific line-up which includes in places tenor and alto, two different pianists and the grounded rhythm section of bassist Tony De Paolis and drummer Dave Throckmorton.
Among the many excellent originals here is boiling and angular Thermocline which Bianco opens with a sheen of sound and a brittle, stuttering melodic attack (not dissimilar to John Scofield's early work) but then winds it down discreetly and steps back to allow tenor player Jacob Yoffee to deliver a deliciously sensitive solo which starts somewhere in the early Fifties and scales its way briefly through post-bop . . . before pianist Mike Murray enters.
This piece -- a series of intelligently interlocked and co-dependent parts -- is a real journey, but also in some ways emblematic of the intellect and musicianship on display across all eight of these exploratory tracks.
At the other end of the spectrum is pianist Don DePaolis-penned ballad Song of the Changing Seasons, whose title alone hints at its theme. And here Bianco's playing has a precision which is appropriately climatic in its emotions as strong breezes blow leaves of notes around.
Pianist Don DePaolis errs to the slower moods again when he appears on his own lovely Hand Revealed Message which is open enough to let Bianco dance across the top with some beautifully sustained notes which find their echo in Chris Hemingway's bright'n'breezy alto solo.
Bianco's title track finds him again exercising restraint which allows for Mike Murray's deft piano passages and bassist Tony De Paolis to offer a thoughtful solo.
Bianco -- who has doubtless heard and studied John McLaughlin's more restrained work in the Seventies and Eighties -- describes this album as forward thinking yet rooted in tradition, and that seems a very honest assessment.
Well worth checking out. You still can of course, it's not really "missed" just went missing for a while.
You can buy this album from his website here.
By Graham Reid, posted Sep 12, 2015
September 2014 Review of “Homefront” by Brent Black (http://www.criticaljazz.com/2014/09/andy-bianco-homefront-armored-2014.html):
Pittsburgh native Andy Bianco is part of the exciting evolution of modern jazz guitar, he swings like a beast!
Good guitarists are like Starbucks, one on every corner. Great guitarists develop their own harmonic voice and then move to the next level, Andy Bianco is a great guitarist. Homefront is an important part of the future of modern jazz while still have a foot anchored in the roots of full contact swing. Bianco is a prolific composer turning in six originals and backed with a stellar ensemble of musical co-conspirators that work as a true collective. Fire and ice...The perfect storm.
"Southern Cross" kicks off the session with a vibrant swing and clean angular lines coming from Bianco. "Stormy Sunday" is a groove you can use with a syncopated off metered pop but a swing that you will hear with your feet. "Clouds" is a somewhat more dialed down ambient ballad that transcends genre and allows Bianco's harmonic sense of exploration to take flight.
While Andy Bianco is a relative new shooter in the modern jazz realm of six string aficionado's, there is little doubt he is as artistically gifted as he is technically proficient. The band is A list and a first call fire storm of swing that can touch your heart and set your hair on fire at the same time.
Homefront is a review that writes itself. Stupid good! One of the better new artists that I have heard this year!
-Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
ANDY BIANCO’S GUITAR WORK CAN ALSO BE HEARD ON THESE SELECTED RECORDINGS:
“Quirk” is a terrific modern jazz recording & the 2nd album release from my friend & fellow Armored Records artist Glenn White. Glenn’s exceptional tenor saxophone work & writing style is showcased on the 5 original compositions that comprise this offering. I was out of the US touring for several months while much of this was getting recorded, but I’m grateful to have performed on 2 tracks, “Gretchen’s Wedding March” & “Mr. Zo”...I play regularly in Glenn’s NYC Quintet; come see us at a venue in town soon!-Andy Bianco
Read the terrific review of “Quirk” & Andy’s guitar playing on it from
Read some reviews of the experimental avant-garde guitar & drums duo recording “Forces of the Wild”:
August 2013 Review of "Forces of the Wild" by Stanley Zappa of The New York City Jazz Record (http://nycjazzrecord.com/):
“Stripping the instrumentation down to a duo, Forces of the Wild dispenses with fuming incense stenchers and technicolor wonderment in favor of a palette rich in grays and black; there is less asking, more telling. Moses’ ever nimble drumming is welcome alongside Andy Bianco’s overdriven nihilistic guitar. Though not as nimble as John McLaughlin (though he comes close on “Mechanization”), one wishes McLaughlin would hire Bianco as his tonal guru, as the latter’s sound is closer to the Mahavishnu Orchestra than anything McLaughlin is doing these days. Unless something spectacular happens in the next few months, count Forces of the Wild as 2013’s top contribution to the literature of the guitar/drum duo.”
-Stanley Zappa, New York City Jazz Record, August 2013
August 2012 review by Bruce Lee Gallanter of Downtown Music Gallery NYC:
ANDY BIANCO/BOB MOSES - Forces of the Wild (Bianco Music; USA) Featuring Andy Bianco on unprepared & prepared electric guitar and Bob Moses on drums & percussion. Last Sunday (8/5/12) a guitarist named Andy Bianco played here at DMG in a trio/quartet with Giacomo Merega & Noah Kaplan. I was impressed by his playing, especially the odd string manipulations he employed. Mr. Bianco left us with a fine duo CD with the legendary drummer Bob Rakalam Moses, who Andy met when he was studying at Berklee in Boston. Bob Moses is one of the finest and most sought after drummers alive, his career stretching back to the mid-sixties and playing with many other important figures like Gary Burton, Larry Coryell, Pat Metheny and many others. Rakalam is also the drummer of choice for the legendary guitarist Tisziji Munoz.
Mr. Bianco seems to be altering, bending and manipulating his strings here as well, creating noisy yet effective sounds which work well with Mr. Moses' crafty dialogue. Moses often concentrates on just his snare, bass drums and cymbals, creating simple lines and then building rhythmic phrases on top, allowing the music to breathe and develop slowly. Mr. Bianco also takes his time, bending certain notes and selectively adding an occasional amount of feedback to pulse through. He launches into some intense free/fusion flurries while Moses holds things back down to the earth with knitting needles on the drums or scissors perhaps. Some of the noisier moments sound both familiar and alien at the same time. There are moments when the duo allow the spaciousness to become filled with suspense which really works well and balances the noisier perfectly. After listening to jazz and rock guitarists improvise for so many years, you recognize noisy of strange sounds that are part of a new vocabulary of free electric guitar. Bob Moses' gift is to provide an ongoing focal point/flow that keeps the guitar rooted to a spirited conversation between trustworthy collaborators. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
This is the first official release under our band name, the Nickel and Dime OPS, a group I’ve had the pleasure of recording & performing with every Thursday late night at NYC’s renowned Smoke Jazz Club for the past 2 years. “The Soulygamist” is a documentation of Nickel and his NYC jazz fused hip hop band at their best. 100% live, with no samples, the album is a soulful musical union anchored strong in the hip hop pocket by Nickel’s lyrics, that takes eclectic twists and turns throughout as the great musicians of the Dime OPS each take their moments to demonstrate their own unique talents. Featuring exquisite solo/ensemble playing by some of NYC’s finest vocalists/instrumentalists. -Andy Bianco
Here we have the debut album by my friend & world class bassist Nathan Peck, entitled, “Top Dead Center”. It’s an electric jazz excursion featuring 27 top musicians from NYC offering an eclectic sampling of textures & elements of dub, hip hop, soul jazz, mixed meter funk, jazz rock & more. Check out my guitar work on “NYC Hotbed”..I’m very proud to be a part of this project by my longtime musical brother Nathan Peck!-Andy Bianco
Read the press release about “NYC Hotbed” from
This album is the debut recording by my friend, world class drummer & fellow Pittsburgh native James Johnson III. Marrying lyrical melodies and heavy grooves, "Between" delivers compositions with a vibe as deep as they are insightful. Featuring stellar writing & some of the world’s finest musicians, this album is a project I’m honored to be a part of; check me out on “Wishing Well” & “Obbligato”.-Andy Bianco
This recording is a great representation of the quartet that I traveled with in many countries and performed extensively from 2010-2011. “Passepartout” features myself as well as Tony DePaolis on bass/vocals along with the stylings of pianist/vocalist Joy Ellis & drummer/percussionist Adam Osmianski, & offers a wide variety of creatively arranged pop & jazz standards as well as uniquely esoteric original compositions.Trumpeter James Moore is also featured as a guest on 4 tracks.This is another recording that I am happy to be a part of because I feel it showcases the band at its best. -Andy Bianco
“Love & Addiction” is an album by an up & coming R&B Artist/Songwriter/Actress that I’m proud to be on, and I’m also happy to perform in her band in NYC. My guitar work can be heard on “Faithful” & “My Angel”. Aisha Eustache is a great talent and definitely someone to keep an eye on throughout 2014! -Andy Bianco